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Game Script by theWallflower00

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/30/11

Traffic Department: 2192 Transcript

compiled by Eric J. Juneau (juneauej@gmail.com)
developed by Safari Software
Version 1.0
Last updated 3/30/11

===============================================================================
TABLE OF CONTENTS
===============================================================================
1. Transcriber's Notes
2. Cast of Characters
3. Transcript
	Episode Alpha
		Mission I - Operation Recon
		Mission II - Search and Destroy
		Mission III - Broken Wing
		Mission IV - Fly by Night
		Mission V - Attitude Adjustment
		Mission VI - Pair of Aces
		Mission VII - Enemy Mine
		Mission VIII - One Fell Swoop
		Mission IX - Egg In Your Face
		Mission X - Scrambled Eggs
		Mission XI - Stiletto Heels
		Mission XII - Clipped Wings
		Mission XIII - A Pressing Engagement
		Mission XIV - Piece of Mind
		Mission XV - A Matter of Trust
		Mission XVI - The Nemesis
		Mission XVII - Defenses Down
		Mission XVIII - Time Bomb
		Mission XIX - The Vulture's Nest
		Mission XX - Mean Machine
	Episode Beta
		Mission I - Never Say Die
		Mission II - Fragments
		Mission III - Troubleshooting
		Mission IV - The Spice of Life
		Mission V - Insinuations
		Mission VI - Someone to Keep an Ion
		Mission VII - Remainder Zero
		Mission VIII - Evac-Attack!
		Mission IX - Welcome to Vultigard
		Mission X - Whiteout
		Mission XI - The Javelin
		Mission XII - Changing of the Guard
		Mission XIII - The Model Officer
		Mission XIV - Vulture Mulcher
		Mission XV - Total Systems Failure
		Mission XVI - A Lifetime Warranty
		Mission XVII - Dead Via Satellite
		Mission XVIII - Conflict of Conscience
		Mission XIX - Automaton Timebomb
		Mission XX - Sole Survivors
	Episode Gamma
		Mission I - Dark Side
		Mission II - Target Practice
		Mission III
		Mission IV - Mortality Rate
		Mission V - Mine to Destroy
		Mission VI - A New Face
		Mission VII - Deadly Defense
		Mission VIII - Superior Firepower
		Mission IX - A General Nuisance
		Mission X - The Decoy Ploy
		Mission XI - Convergence
		Mission XII - Hit or Missile
		Mission XIII - A Foot in the Door
		Mission XIV - Inside Out
		Mission XV - Vendetta
		Mission XVI - The Moment of Truth
		Mission XVII - Condition Critical
		Mission XVIII - Conflict of Conscience
		Mission XIX - Last Kill and Testament
3. FAQs
4. Credits

===============================================================================
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES
===============================================================================
- In the game, all type is in capital letters, but I have used mixed case for 
readability.  Therefore some capitalizations may not be accurate or consistent.
- There are various typos and errors in the final game.  I have corrected them, 
simply because it  was easier that way.  
- "Selarian" changes to "Selerian" midway through the script.  I have kept 
"Selarian" to remain consistent.
- Text in brackets [] indicates an image shown on the screen.  Generally, the 
images represent places and don't change.  Therefore only the first instance of 
the image is described.

===============================================================================
CAST OF CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)
===============================================================================

Dispatcher: A slimy guy who maintains the comings and goings of hoverskids.  
You only see him on a viewscreen.  He has blond hair and a smug expression.  
His real name is Carl.  Greenish-blue font.

Marta Louise Velasquez: The protagonist.  The best hoverskid pilot and Vulture 
killer.  She watched her father, also a hoverskid pilot, die by Vulture attack 
when she was 10 years old.  She is now 24 years old, has shoulder-length brown 
hair and brown eyes.  She is always wearing her Traffic Department uniform.  
Blue-purple font.

Commander Dar Satair: The commander of TD's headquarters.  He has salt and 
pepper hair, a thick mustache, and bushy eyebrows.  You can tell the years 
have not been kind to him, but he has a soft spot for Velasquez.  Green font.

Op. Coordinator Peter Amiel: An operations coordinator in TD.  Androgynous, 
sickly looking, with a gaunt face and longer hair parted in the middle.  
Pinkish-purple font.

Colonel Bram Wolstencroft: The head of operations for the Vultures in 
Vulthaven.  A grossly fat man with a mole on his cheek, and a purple Vulture 
headband/marking on his forehead.  Light blue font.

Vulture Captain: An office in Vulture employ.  He wears a gray armored suit 
with visor.  Tan font.

Lt. Striker: African-American skid pilot.  Dark blue font.

Lt. Junior Koth: A Selarian skid pilot.  Selarians are reptilian, and he 
hisses all his S's.  Dark green font.

Aron Demeter: Created a Vulture splinter faction, then defected to the Traffic 
Department.  Handsome and cocky, with blond hair and a smug smirk.  Blue font.

Captain Moloch: A captain in the Vulture command.  He is responsible for 
killing Velasquez's father.  Tan font.  

Dr. Philip Ramses: A scientist in employ of the Vultures.  He wears glasses 
with one lens replaced with an eyepiece.  Twin of Leopold Ramses.  Brown font.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: A scientist in employ of the Vultures.  Twin of Leopold 
Ramses.  He wears glasses with one lens replaced with an eyepiece.  Slightly 
darker brown font.

Lt. Kendrick: A young male T.D. skid pilot.  Yellow font.

Lt. Commander Renee White: A tightly-wound, harsh military woman with a severe 
haircut.  Orange font.

Major Dispater: A Vulture soldier, wears a large flight helmet with eyemask.  
Red font.

Commander Belial: A Vulture soldier who is placed in charge of the mobile 
ground forces.  Wears golden armor, with an army helmet.  Apparently has some 
cybernetics over his right eye.  Purple font.

Screwdriver: The robotic bartender at the officer's lounge.  Very 70's-80's 
looking.  Gray font.

Dr. Weathers: The doctor of Traffic Department.  She has a gaunt, wrinkled 
face, small round glasses, and short gray hair.  Pale yellow font.

Lt. Colonel Mammon: A Vulture soldier.  Weird helmet that's a combination of 
flying cap and barbut. Green-yellow font.

Lt. Nicola Cartel: A skid pilot transferred from Vultanova, assigned to 
replace Velasquez after the Vultures brainwash her.  Looks kinda Asian.  Pink 
font.

General Kreel: A Vulture superior.  A tall, harsh-looking man with gray hair, 
bald except for the sides.  Bushy gray eyebrows.  Yellow-green font.

Colonel Kovia: A female Vulture commander.  Short blond hair, cat-like eyes, 
thin cheeks.  I guess she looks like Tasha Yar.  Salmon font.

Captain Glasya: General Kreel's daughter.  She has thick, light brown hair, 
big lips, and blue eyes.  Dark purple font.

Kylie Kilailie: A news reporter in Vulthaven.  Yellow-brown font.

B.O.B.: A cylindrical hover-bot who helps Colonel Wolstencroft in Episode 2, 
in the V.C.I. bunker.  Gray font.

Jarock: Leader of the Scorpion gang -- a street gang interested in spice.  
Teal font.

Bryll: A subordinate of Jarock. His face is disfigured and scarred.  Purple 
font.

Sareth: A Selarian spy in T.D. Headquarters that works directly under Bram 
Wolstencroft.  Pale yellow font.

Dispatcher (2): A female dispatcher who works in Vultigard Traffic Department. 
Dark yellow font.

LO-139: A surveillance droid in Vultigard Traffic Department.  He has no hair, 
sickly-white skin, and implants and wires.  He has no pupils and wears a 
Hannibal Lecter-style mask over his nose and mouth.  I'm not a 100% sure if 
he's a cyborg or an android. Gray font. 

Captain Tol: The commander of the Vultigard Traffic Department.  A short, 
corpulent man with a brown, bushy beard and a bald head.  Reddish font.

Director Friedkin Hyde: The director of operations for Vulture Command in 
Vultigard.  He has good hair and a cleft chin.  He's more concerned about his 
appearance than power.  Yellow-green font.

Dr. Kane: Some guy who works for Director Hyde.  Has short blond hair and a 
lab coat and glasses.  Yellow font.

A.R.E.O.-1: A prototype android designed to replace T.D. Officers.  Looks 
exactly like LO-139.  Gray font.

Ian Alexander: A seven-year old boy collected by Capt. Glasya in Vulthelm.  
Light blue font.

A.R.E.O.-9 / Timothy Aibel: A prototype android like A.R.E.O.-1.  He later 
reveals to Velasquez that his genetic fibers, like all A.R.E.O. models, are 
taken from a dead T.D. officer.  After this reveal, his moniker is changed 
from A.R.E.O.-9 to Timothy Aibel, his former name.  Gray font.

Bael: A synthetic prototype working in T.D.  Gray font.

Mala: Capt. Glasya's daughter.  She looks about eight, has freckles under her 
blue eyes, and brown hair in a pony tail.  Light green font.

Devornay: An administrator who operates in Sechedon (which I think is the 
planet's capital).  First name is Anton.  Dark red font.

Lt. Nemecek: An officer in the Vultigard T.D.  He has slicked back hair, 
bright green eyes, and weird black eyebrows.  Yellow font.

Lt. Junior Ikona: An officer in the Vultigard T.D.  She has blue eyes, a broad 
face, and thin brown hair.  Dark purple font.

Jekar: A Vulture hiding in the Kolor Mining Facility.  He has no hair and few 
features, except for the Vulture brow mark.  Has kind of  a blank, bland look. 
Red font.

Dr. Diva Livid: The T.D. doctor once they are on the moon of Kolor.  She has 
gray hair, crow's feet, and a gray sweater outfit.  Yellow-brown font.

General Talon: The commander of the Vulture Warcruiser 'Nightmare'.  He looks 
relatively young, but has crazy eyes.  No hair.  Purple font.  

Vice-Director Selat: The vice-director of Vultkolor.  He also has a strange, 
blank look and smooth features.  Yellow-green font.

Ric Velasquez: An old, bald man with a severe look.  Gray hair, gray eyebrows, 
and a gray mustache.  Pink-purple font.

Commander Osyluth: A flunky of General Kreel.  Wears a full skid pilot dress, 
including a helmet with a visor that masks his face.  Pale yellow font.

General Marilith: A Vulture General, the only female one.  She also has no 
hair.  Blue font.

Dr. Bela Ramses: Yet another clone of Dr. Clive Ramses, in the employ of 
General Marilith.  Looks just like the others.  Brown font.

Administrator Lemure: Vulture Administrator of the Ion Depot Alpha-6.  Dark 
purple font.

General Orlok: Captain of the 'Vortex'.  One of the four Vulture generals.  He 
has some kind of eye implant or peripheral over his right eye.  Light blue 
font.

======================================================================
TRANSCRIPT
======================================================================
May 16, 2178

[Seche -- a tan planet -- sits in space as the sun creeps over its rim]

Far from Earth, a distant sun rises over the desert planet Seche.  Below, a 
hoverskid flashes across the desert, on its way home.  The pilot, Ric 
Velasquez, looks forward to seeing his daughter again after several long 
months of garrison duty...

[A hoverskid zooms down an asphalt road in the middle of the desert.  Dunes 
and flak towers rise on either side.]

Safari Software Presents

Ric Velasquez: (audio) This is Ric Velasquez, running 14-B, over.

A P2 Production

Dispatch: (audio) Runner 14-B, picking you up on long-range scanners.  Welcome 
home, sir.

T R A F F I C    D E P A R T M E N T    2 1 9 2

Programming by: John Pallet-Plowright, Robert A. Allen, Michael Pallet-
Plowright

Graphics by: John Pallet-Plowright, Bruce Hsu, Michael Taylor, Samuel Goldstein

Music by: Robert A. Allen

Storyline and Dialogue: Christopher Perkins

Special Thanks to: Gord Zajac, Craig Caplan, Tim Sweeney, Robert Brown, Sean 
Comrie, James Schmilz, Tran, Mike Van Altena

Directed by: John Pallet-Plowright

[The hoverskid zooms off]

[At an intersection in the city, two vulture skids (they look like X-Wings or 
TIE Fighters, colored purple and gray) fire on the hoverskid ]

Just seconds away from the hangar, disaster strikes.  A burst of ion cannon 
fire tears the ship apart...

[A massive fireball.]

Ric Velasquez is killed instantly in the fiery explosion... ...and his 
daughter watches from the hangar as her father dies.

END INTRO (at this point, you choose to start a new game, and the story 
begins.)

--------------------------------------
EPISODE ALPHA
--------------------------------------
--------------------------------------
MISSION I - OPERATION RECON
--------------------------------------

[The upper hangar: A large building where hoverskids are parked, one of which 
is sitting on a raised platform, surrounded by vertical lasers.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
July 18 - 2192

Dispatcher: Routine assignment, Vel.

Lt. Velasquez: The name's Velasquez.  Say Vel to my face again and I'll rip 
yours off!

Dispatcher: Sure, babe.  Our relay stations detected a convoy of Vulture 
supply trucks spreading out across the city.  My guess is that they're 
carrying arms and missile components to the lowlifes of Vulthaven... probably 
supplying more of those spice gangs.  Vape the trucks before they leave the 
city.

Lt. Velasquez: Consider it done.

Dispatcher: You've got a wingman for this one, Vel.  Commander's orders.

Lt. Velasquez: Commander Satair can suck his...

Dispatcher: It's going to be Kendrick.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't care if it's Satair's k'r'roc grandmother!  You tell 
Satair that I fly alone.  Kendrick's a snot-nosed hotshot who doesn't value 
his life, let alone his wingman's!  Send him to me, and he won't return in one 
piece.  Is that clear?

Dispatcher: Satair's not going to like...

Lt. Velasquez: This is Hornet Alpha-6... Clear me or else!

Dispatcher: You're cleared to leave the hanger, Vel.  Good luck out there.

[Mission commences]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Dispatcher: Operation successful, Vel?

Lt. Velasquez: Read my report.

Dispatcher: Your vehicle recorder unit isn't relaying its data, hon.  You got 
a defective unit?  These VRU's haven't all been...

Lt. Velasquez: You're the one with a defective unit!  Check it out yourself.

Dispatcher: You're such a sweetheart.

Lt. Velasquez: And you're such a toad.

[Commander's office: A wide red and white office desk sits at the back.  In 
the middle of the room sit a green holographic display of the planet and a 
flat holographic grid-screen.]

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
25 radians later

Commander Satair: You have a problem with wingmen, Velasquez?  

Lt. Velasquez: Not if they're someone else's!

Commander Satair: I see.  I'm assigning you to pilot recruit, training, and 
evaluation, effective tomorrow.

Lt. Velasquez: To hell with that idea!

Commander Satair: Unless, of course, you prefer a position in dispatch... or 
perhaps the security monitoring station?  Maybe the officer's mess - I hear 
they need a cook!

Lt. Velasquez: But I'm the best pilot you've got!

Commander Satair: No.  You just think you are.  Besides, you have a psych 
evaluation scheduled in two weeks.  That chip on your shoulder has been 
getting bigger every time I send you out there!  Tomorrow you start evaluating 
pilot performance, or I'll have you shipped out to the coal mines at Seraptis 
Minor, in drag!

Lt. Velasquez: But...

Commander Satair: And I don't like the officers under my command using foul 
language on T.D. communication channels, not to mention officers who make 
crude remarks about my grandmother!  Now get the r'ox out of my office and 
report to recruiting tomorrow!

--------------------------------------
MISSION II - SEARCH AND DESTROY
--------------------------------------

[Operations coordinators office: A small shot of a single desk in a small gray 
dark room, with the hallway lit in the open door behind it]

Operations Coordinator's Office
Later...

Lt. Velasquez: Satair's got me running a nursery.  Got anything else?

Op. Coordinator Amiel: I shouldn't be doing this, Velasquez.  

Lt. Velasquez: Give me something, anything.  Before I beat the crap out of you.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Yeah, well... Satair's got Rordan and Lazar assigned to 
street reconnaissance first thing tomorrow.

Lt. Velasquez: Is that all?

Op. Coordinator Amiel: No, there's a classified assignment in Satair's 
personal database...

Lt. Velasquez: Crack it.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Whoa!  No can do!  Satair's sealed the file with a 
private access code.

Lt. Velasquez: Want your throat ripped out?

Op. Coordinator Amiel: You know, I think I remember Satair's decoding matrix 
after all...

Lt. Velasquez: That's what I like about you, Amiel.  You're always thinking 
about what's best for you.

[A shot of a computer terminal -- green type on black background]

ASSIGNMENT -- THETA 34015-A
AUTHORIZATION -- COMMANDER DAR SATAIR, VULTHAVEN T.D.
ASSIGNMENT ALLOCATION -- LIEUTENANT RAYMIN STRIKER

OBJECTIVES -- DESTROY VULTURE CONVOY DESTINED FOR REACTOR.  CONVOY ENTERS CITY 
AT 2900 HOURS.  DESTROY BOTH ESCORT AND CONVOY.  PRIORITY ALPHA-1

DETACHMENT -- HORNET-CLASS SKID
STANDARD MISSILE FITTINGS

--- END DATA ---

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Puzzling... this looks like a strategic operation.  I 
wonder why Satair's only assigned one skid...

Lt. Velasquez: Satair can suck eggs.  Put Striker on evaluation and training 
instead.  I'm taking this mission whether Satair likes it or not.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Whatever you say, Velasquez.  Just make sure you 
terminate that convoy.

Lt. Velasquez: It's burnt as toast.

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Private Young: Please help me...  I am the sole survivor of a convoy that was 
ambushed by Vulture ships.  My cargo is a batch of electronics for the forces 
that still oppose Vulture rule.  I am arriving from the east.  Please, help me 
to get to the truck depot safely.  I have reason to believe that the patrol 
ship entering from the west is here to destroy me.  I beg of you for 
assistance.  

Lt. Velasquez: I will help you if I can...

[Mission Ends.]

Dispatcher: Satair wants to see you, and don't expect a medal!

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Commander Satair: I don't care if you blew up a thousand terrorist transports! 
Who in hell gave you the authority to reassign yourself to the search and 
destroy mission?  You tamper with the mission assignments again, and I'll have 
you dropped on the Vulture's doorsteps with a lousy singing telegram!  I don't 
care if Striker's an idiot!  I already know that!  But at least he follows 
orders!  If you were some test tube kl'a, and not your father's daughter, I'd 
have you cleaning out the toilets!  Now get out of my sight!  Get out, before 
I throw you out myself!

Lt. Velasquez: Yes... sir.

Meanwhile...

[Vulture Command Institute -- a tall imposing building with gray supports, 
mirrored glass, and a large red carpet in its courtyard]

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute

Vulture Colonel Wolstencroft: We may have a problem.

Vulture Captain: Nothing we can't handle.

Vulture Colonel Wolstencroft: Perhaps.  Are you familiar with the Traffic 
Department office named Marta Louise Velasquez?

Vulture Captain: Should I know her?

Vulture Colonel Wolstencroft: According to the Traffic Department database 
files, she's thwarted more than one of our... operations.  Sound familiar?

Vulture Captain: No... but if my instincts are correct, we'll be the best of 
enemies soon enough...

--------------------------------------
MISSION III - BROKEN WING
--------------------------------------

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
Next day

Dispatcher: Glad you're on this one, Vel.  One of our squads was taken by 
surprise in the north quadrant.  The squad leader, Sadler, was destroyed along 
with one of his wingmen.  The other wingman, Montgomery, is still in the city.

Lt. Velasquez: Montgomery?  She's as good as scattered debris out there!

Dispatcher: According to the most recent relay transmissions, her skid is 
damaged and being pursued by two Vultures.  Your job is to get her back to 
T.D. headquarters alive.  Officer Halo will accompany you.

Lt. Velasquez: Halo?  I don't need one useless wingman to save another! 

Dispatcher: Then use him to draw Vulture fire.  Obey Satair's order... just 
this once.  The relay station is keeping a constant tab on Montgomery's 
transponder signal.  She's all over the place.

Lt. Velasquez: I'll bring her home.

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you encounter a new type of enemy -- 
the Vulture Mark II.  It looks like a bird of prey, but smaller, faster, and 
has serrated wings.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
After mission

Dispatcher: Nice job, Vel.  Montgomery sends her thanks.

Lt. Velasquez: My life is complete.  Those Vulture bastards have a new ship.  
Looks armed to the teeth, but the k'r'roc-shit pilot wouldn't engage me.

Dispatcher: Might be a surveillance ship?

Lt. Velasquez: Sure.  And you're the smartest person on the whole damn planet. 
If I want your opinion, numbstick, I'll beat it out of you.

Dispatcher: That's what I admire about you, Vel.  You always say what's on 
your mind.

Lt. Velasquez: And here you are, wishing you had a mind to begin with.

Meanwhile...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute

[Wolstencroft addresses a teleconference of six Vulture leaders]

Vulture Colonel Wolstencroft: I am distressed to learn that computer files 
detailing our new ship design have fallen into enemy hands.  It appears that 
someone has seen fit to circulate privileged information.  Not that the 
Traffic Department is aware of the Vulture Ship Mark II, I see no choice but 
to include the vehicle in our operations.
Under normal circumstance, I would be more than a bit upset.  However, there 
are far more pressing matters to attend to.  A splinter faction has risen to 
challenge my authority in Vulthaven, and I have learned that one of you is 
responsible for its creation.  I don't know who you are... but if I were you, 
I'd consider a new line of work...

--------------------------------------
MISSION IV - FLY BY NIGHT
--------------------------------------

[T.D. Briefing Auditorium: A meeting room/auditorium with a single podium up 
front.  Behind it is a green holographic screen and to the left is a much 
larger screen.]

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
That night

Commander Satair: Several of you have encountered a new ship on the streets.  
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Vulture Mark II.  It's fast, maneuverable, and 
armed with four forward-firing ion cannons. Maximum speed is unknown.  Its 
only limitation appears to be its projectile payload - no missiles.

Lt. Striker: Just how many of the suckers do those Vultures have?

Commander Satair: This is my briefing, Striker.  The Vultures may have ten 
ships or hundreds.  We don't know...

Lt. Junior Koth: Rumor hassss it that the Vulturessss are developing new 
ssshieldsss for their new shipssss...

Lt. Velasquez: Stop hissing in my ear, scaleface...

Commander Satair: The data was leaked to us through the Vulture media net 
yesterday during the dune buggy derby telecast on channel nine.  Intelligence 
believes that a splinter faction may be responsible.  We'll keep you posted.  
Until then, keep your eyes open for those Mark II's!

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
15 radians later

Dispatcher: This is a night mission, Vel.  You better check your infra-red 
display.

Lt. Velasquez: I'm tired.  Just give me the mission.

Dispatcher: It's a fly-by-night.  Just patrol the streets for Vulture scum and 
do the usual thing.  I though K'lith was topside tonight?

Lt. Velasquez: He said he couldn't stomach another night with you.

Dispatcher: Thanks.  Hope you're not too scared of the dark, Vel.  Too bad 
you're not Selarian.

Lt. Velasquez: Me, Selarian?

Dispatcher: Well, they have the best night vision.  That's why Satair gives 
Koth all the after-hours stuff, you know.  Oh, by the way, watch out for 
civilian cars out there - the Vultures may decide to do some target practice 
with them, but you don't have to.  In fact, you might even want to protect 
them for once...

Lt. Velasquez: Just clear me before I punch your light out and clear myself...

Dispatcher: What's the magic word?

Lt. Velasquez: Death.

Dispatcher: Clearance granted.

Lt. Junior Koth: Vultures don't fly with headlightsss, Velasquezzzz... switch 
to infra-red ssscannersss....

[Mission commences -- the entire mission takes place in red and black, but 
nothing unusual happens.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: Mission over with.  I'm going to bed!

Dispatcher: With whom?

Meanwhile...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Next Morning

Colonel Wolstencroft: Moloch, my good friend.  What news?

Vulture Captain Moloch: Demeter has made his move, sir.

Colonel Wolstencroft: He's flown our happy coop?  I expected as much.  He'll 
probably take his splinter faction to Satair's do-gooders for an escort.  See 
that his transport never leaves the city.

Vulture Captain Moloch: Consider it done.

--------------------------------------
MISSION V - ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
--------------------------------------

[Lt. Velasquez's quarters: There is a table in the foreground with some 
flasks/bottles on it, and a bunk in the wall.  The walls are contoured and 
curvy.]

Quarters of Lt. Velasquez, 
where she sleeps uneasily

[Massive fireball]

She relives her father's death...
And awakes in a cold sweat...

[Operation Coordinators office]

Later, at the operation coordinator's office, she finds the cause of her 
pain...

[The face of Moloch appears on the screen, along with the following terminal 
text.]

Moloch, Harkon

Place of birth - unknown
Date of birth - unknown
Rank - Captain
Status - alive
Current Station - Vulthaven, Seche
Kills - 66     Known T.D. kills - 40

Comments - extremely dangerous pilot.  Terminate with extreme prejudice.

--- End data ---

Lt. Junior Koth: Who'ssss that?

Lt. Velasquez: The bastard who murdered my father.

Lt. Junior Koth: Sssorry I ssstartled you.  Ssssatair wantsss to ssseee 
ussss... sssome sssort of essscort missssion.

Lt. Velasquez: Number one.  You didn't startle me - I could smell you six 
kilometers away.  Number two.  I should tear that forked tongue right out of 
your damn mouth.

Lt. Junior Koth: At least wait until after the mission!

Lt. Velasquez: You slimy Selarians are all the same - you all make me nauseous!

Lt. Junior Koth: Some of us don't like humansss much either, Velasquezzzz....

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Aron Demeter: Hello, sweetie pie!

Lt. Velasquez: Who the hell are you?

Aron Demeter: Why, your wet dream, sugar tits!  How about getting me a hot cup 
of coffee?

Lt. Velasquez: You like it black?

Aron Demeter: Black as night, gorgeous...

3 hours later

[Aron Demeter's face now sports a black eye, and blood coming from his mouth 
and lip, dripping on his shirt]

Commander Satair: Aron Demeter, meet Officer Velasquez.

Aron Demeter: How long was I out?

Commander Satair: Three hours - less than usual for Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: Did I put too much cream in your mug?

Aron Demeter: Your officer needs one hell of an attitude adjustment, Satair.

Commander Satair: It'll have to wait until the mission is over.  Officer 
Velasquez is your escort to the city perimeter.

Aron Demeter: What?!

Lt. Velasquez: I hope your transport is armor-plated, Demeter.  You're going 
to need it!

Aron Demeter: Commander, it's vital that I reach the perimeter alive.  Perhaps 
you should assign a more... competent officer.

Commander Satair: I don't have a more competent officer.

Lt. Velasquez: Looks like it's just you and me, sweetie-pie...

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
Next morning

Dispatcher: Demeter's part of a splinter faction called E.G.G.  Listen, Vel.  
We gotta get Demeter out of Vulthaven alive if we expect any help from E.G.G. 
in the future.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't want E.G.G.'s help!  They're all a bunch of criminal 
k'r'roc's!  Idiots like Demeter deserve to get their brains blown out!

Dispatcher: Fine.  Go ahead.  Blow him to pieces.  I'm sure Satair will be 
overjoyed with your initiative.

Lt. Junior Koth: I ssuggesst we ssstick to the misssion, Velasssquezzz.  
Demeter'sss jussst a sssmall sssnake.

Lt. Velasquez: Go bake in the sun, lizard breath.

Aron Demeter: Wolstencroft probably knows about this escort.  He'll probably 
send Vulture II's to nail both of us.  You should probably just do your job, 
Velasquez, and I'll guarantee E.G.G.'s assistance in the future.

Lt. Velasquez: And you should probably just get off my monitor!

[Mission starts.  During the mission, you get this exchange in the 
communicator]

Aron Demeter: Velasquez, the southern exit is too heavily guarded by Vulture 
ships for me to exit.  I am proceeding to the eastern gate instead.

Lt. Velasquez: I always knew you were a k'r'roc-r'ox chicken, Demeter.

Aron Demeter: I understand your... uh... hostility for me, Velasquez, and I 
apologize for... er... any misunderstanding between us and...

Lt. Velasquez: Get off my vidcom, you son of a k'r'roc.

[Mission commences.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: Well, that scum-sucker's out of the city... at least I'll rest 
easy tonight!

Dispatcher: I've told you before, Vel.  If you ever want to rest well, just 
ask me... I can personally guarantee the most relaxing night you'll ever 
have... and not just sleep!

Lt. Velasquez: Maybe I will call you.  Your boring conversation always makes 
me doze off anyways!

Meanwhile...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute

Colonel Wolstencroft: Tell me, Moloch, what do you see when you gaze beyond 
this window?  A playground?  I'll tell you what I see.  A city without will to 
resist me... a fragile society held within my hand.

Captain Moloch: Lieutenant Marta Velasquez has become a nuisance.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Indeed.  It's time I stopped playing with her, my 
friend.  We are about to introduce new technologies that will sweep away the 
Traffic Department and others who stand in our way.  I don't need Lieutenant 
Velasquez meddling in our affairs.

Captain Moloch: Shall I dispatch her?

Colonel Wolstencroft: Have the good doctors perfected the new shields on the 
Mark II?

Captain Moloch: They assure me that they're ready for another test.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Then by all means...

--------------------------------------
MISSION VI - PAIR OF ACES
--------------------------------------

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
15 radians later

Dispatcher: Looks like another routine run-about, Vel.  Surveillance copters 
have detected five or more Vultures prowling the streets.  Ionize them.

Lt. Velasquez: Consider it done.

Dispatcher: What's this?  No jabbing quips!  No hostile remarks!  I'm very 
disappointed, Vel.

Lt. Velasquez: You want a jabbing quip?  Blow it out of your ass, r'ox-breath! 
The name's Velasquez, not Vel.  Too many syllables for you to handle?

Dispatcher: Ah, music to my ears!

Lt. Velasquez: Now clear me... before I get hostile.

Dispatcher: Do you want a wingman?  

Lt. Velasquez: Do you want to die?

Dispatcher: Clearance granted, Vel.

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Commander Moloch: Ahhh... there you are, Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: Take off that stupid mask, ion-brain, or are you to 
k'r'roc-r'ox to show your ugly face?

Commander Moloch: You are the one who should be afraid, Officer Velasquez.  I 
did, after all, blow away your father... not one of my more challenging kills. 
Now it's time to be a good little girl and follow in your father's footsteps.

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not afraid of you, Moloch.  I'm gonna blast both you and 
your ugly face into a billion ions... now get the r'ox off my vidcom!

Commander Moloch: We'll see, Velasquez.  We'll see.

[Mission ends, with you successfully destroying Moloch's skid.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
Upon return

Dispatcher: Hey, Vel, how'd it go out there?  Looks like you got a bit toasted!

Lt. Velasquez: Just another surf in the desert.  Scratch one Vulture ace and 
one Mark II.

Dispatcher: That should make Satair happy.  Today's his birthday, you know.

Lt. Velasquez: I couldn't care less.

Dispatcher: I think he's expecting at least a cake.

Lt. Velasquez: He can eat my ions.

Dispatcher: Well, I certainly would...

--------------------------------------
MISSION VII - ENEMY MINE
--------------------------------------

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Two days later

Colonel Wolstencroft: I regret that your new shields have yielded less than 
perfect results.  It seems that Moloch may have underestimated the skill of 
the opposition.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: The new shields were just experimental.  My twin brother 
has been working on the latest prototype.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Yes, we can construct an improved version to refit another 
Vulture craft, at your command.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Deadlines, gentlemen, we have deadlines.  I don't blame 
either of you for Harkon Moloch's miscalculation, but we cannot afford to 
waste precious time rebuilding the special shields.  We can use the normal 
ones.  Let us proceed with your latest development -- is this the device that 
will finally enable us to secure control of the city streets?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: A series of mines will be deposited in the streets of 
Vulthaven by Vulture mine-laying trucks.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Each egg mine is equipped with a recognition sensor, 
allowing our vehicles to pass over it safely.  Any other vehicle that flies 
over a mine activates it.  That vehicle is destroyed immediately.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Traffic Department skids have no shielding on their 
underbellies so the streets will soon become too treacherous for their 
vehicles to patrol.  Thank you, gentlemen.  Carry on.  We will proceed with 
Operation Minefield immediately.  I will tell Commander Geryon to mobilize his 
skids to protect the mine-layers.  He will not fail me.  I cannot afford any 
more pilot mistakes.  Dismissed, gentlemen.

Commander Satair's office
Traffic Department Headquarters
6 hours later

Commander Satair: E.G.G. has given me another useful piece of information.  
Spies working for the splinter faction have provided technical schematics for 
the new Vulture egg-mine.  Vulture trucks have already begun laying these eggs 
throughout the city.

Lt. Velasquez: Then why aren't we out there vaping those damn trucks?

Commander Satair: Chill out, Velasquez.  Several surveillance vehicles have 
already been destroyed, and Rordon's Stingray got wasted on patrol last night.

Lt. Velasquez: Rordon was an idiot.  The only thing he could drive was someone 
crazy.  

Commander Satair: Hornet's aren't fast enough to avoid the mine's attenuated 
ID sensors and neither are Stilettos, so you will have to shoot them down.

Lt. Striker: What? You want us to make them blow up in our faces?

Lt. Velasquez: No, we want you to stop on one.

Commander Satair: That's enough, Velasquez.  Striker, shut up and listen.

Lt. Striker: Yeah, sure.

Commander Satair: The mines will not destroy you if you shoot them to pieces.  
That's what the E.G.G. spies tell us.

Lt. Velasquez: And we believe them of course...

Commander Satair: I'm this close to replacing you, Velasquez...

Lt. Velasquez: With who?  Nobody wants this half-ass assignment.

Commander Satair: There will be Vulture skids protecting the mine-layers.  
Perhaps Lazar is better equipped to handle the mission.

Lt. Velasquez: The only thing Lazar can handle is his penis.

Lt. Striker: Isn't there anyone in the world that you like, Velasquez?

Lt. Velasquez: Sure, anyone who hates your guts.

Commander Satair: Striker, your shift will be right after Velasquez returns, 
but only if she doesn't manage to take out all the mines.

Lt. Velasquez: Don't insult me!

[Mission commences -- instead of the slower Hornet, you pilot a Stiletto, a 
much sleeker, faster skid]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Dispatcher: Another successful run, Vel?  Relay station confirms you made an 
omelet out of those egg-layers!

Lt. Velasquez: I hate omelets.

Dispatcher: You obviously haven't tried my famous k'r'roc egg omelet.  Remind 
me to make you one sometime.

Lt. Velasquez: You can't even make friends!

Dispatcher: Flatterer.  By the way, Commander Satair wants a personal report 
by 0600 hours.

Lt. Velasquez: Satair wants a private urinal -- doesn't mean he's gonna get 
one.

Meanwhile...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
At the same time

Colonel Wolstencroft: Geryon failed us, gentlemen.  Like Moloch, he 
underestimated Lieutenant Velasquez and allowed her to once again despoil our 
plans.  The splinter faction E.G.G. is also becoming more than a minor 
nuisance.  I need to eliminate both in one fell swoop.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Our latest surprise is just about ready to hatch.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: We've really outdone ourselves this time, Bram.

[Vulture Laboratory: A red gurney sits, illuminated by a spotlight, with a 
scary looking thing above it.  Some upright gurneys and miscellaneous sci-fi 
lab equipment are scattered around.]

Vulture Laboratory
Vulture Command Institute
Later...

Colonel Wolstencroft: You scientists never cease to impress me.  I'm sure that 
Commander Satair and Lieutenant Velasquez are anxious to uncover our latest... 
brainstorm.  Let me know when your 'surprise' has thawed, gentlemen.

--------------------------------------
MISSION VIII - ONE FELL SWOOP
--------------------------------------

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
Next morning

Commander Satair: Our Delta-5 relay station intercepted a coded transmission 
between Vulture command and the Vulture-controlled spice mines in the Karse 
Teleris Dune sea.  Our resident decoder, Operation Coordinator Amiel, was able 
to decipher the transmission.  At fifty-seven hundred radians tonight, a 
convoy of ion supply trucks is laving the V.C.I. with a consignment of moloton 
bombs, to be used for spice mining.  We suspect that the splinter faction 
E.G.G. may try to acquire these bombs by attacking the trucks before they 
leave the city.

Lt. Junior Koth: The ssplinter faction hasss ssskidsss?

Commander Satair: E.G.G. scavengers recovered the parts from destroyed Vulture 
I skids, which they've rebuilt and re-equipped.  They want the moloton bombs 
for future terrorist exploits, and we have no intention of helping them.

Kendrick: Aren't we on the same side?

Lt. Velasquez: Get off the drugs, Kendrick.  That's what the spice-snorting 
bureaucrats want you to think!  They're all slimes with gelatin guts!  Their 
only loyalty is to themselves, and their damn spice factories!

Commander Satair: The last thing we need is a rebel faction running around the 
city with moloton bombs, blowing away anything that may or may not be a 
Vulture base.  Letting them acquire ion cannons was risky enough.

Lt. Velasquez: Gee, and whose idea was that???

Commander Satair: Don't question my judgment, Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: It's questionable enough already.

Commander Satair: The Vulture convoy will arrive from the east soon.  The 
mines are to the north of the city, so it is probable that the trucks will 
leave via the north gate.  The trucks are disguised as ion miners, so the 
Vulture escort should be fairly light.  The biggest threat is E.G.G. itself.  
The splinter faction probably has the same information that we do.  Your 
mission will be to destroy the transports and their escorts before E.G.G. gets 
its hands on the cargo.

Kendrick: How do we distinguish E.G.G. ships from Vulture ships?

Lt. Velasquez: Don't bother trying.  Just vape them all!

Commander Satair: They'll be difficult to distinguish at night.  You'll be 
driving with infra-red scanners.

Lt. Junior Koth: Unlesss you're Ssselarian, of courssse...

Commander Satair: You'll be flying Stilettos.  That'll give you an edge over 
the slower E.G.G. skids.  Lt. Velasquez will be team leader.

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not flying this mission if Kendrick's my wingman!  He can't 
fly a Stiletto in daylight, let alone at night!  Besides, he'll just get in my 
way!

Commander Satair: I'm sorry to hear that, Velasquez, but that's your problem.  
As far as I'm concerned, you're taking him.

Lt. Velasquez: Taking him out, you mean!

Lt. Junior Koth: Commander Sssatair, I think Lt. Velasquezzz and I are capable 
of dissspatching the ssskidsss without Kendrick'sss help.  Asss you sssaid 
yourself, the Vulture essscort isssn't a major threat.  

Lt. Velasquez: Besides, the officers' toilets haven't been cleaned in months!

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
That evening

Lt. Velasquez: I owe you one, lizard man.

Lt. Junior Koth: I appreciate your honesssty, Velasquezzzz.

Lt. Velasquez: But don't think for one radian that I actually like you.

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Commander Moloch - Clone?: Just when you thought I was dead, Vel!  I look 
forward to killing you, finally!

Lt. Velasquez: Moloch!  What the...

Commander Moloch - Clone?: I'm back!  Except now, due to the power of Vulture 
cloning, there are two of me!  We will destroy you!  Prepare for your death!

Lt. Velasquez: I killed you once, Moloch, and I'll kill you two more times if 
I have to!  Let's see if they cloned you properly - without a spine!

[Mission ends.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Dispatcher: Commander Satair and Lieutenant Commander White are waiting for 
your report.  They're in Satair's office.

Lt. Velasquez: Who's Lieutenant Commander White?

Dispatcher: Satair's new flame.

Lt. Velasquez: Probably couldn't light a candle with her!

Dispatcher: Actually she's an operations specialist from Vultanova City.  
Better watch yourself, Vel.  She's got the personality of a sandshark.

Lt. Velasquez: Just your type, hunh.

Dispatcher: Nah.  I prefer shy, demure women who can't defend themselves.  
Which reminds me... you doin' anything tonight?

Commander Satair's office
Traffic Department Headquarters
15 radians later

Commander Satair: The Vultures must be using clone technology.  They must have 
cloned Moloch before he died.  No telling how many times, either.

Lt. Commander White: Most genetic samples break down after two or three 
replications.

Lt. Velasquez: What are you, a geneticist?  I'll just keep killing the bastard 
till there's no more of him left!  So help me, as long as just one of him 
lives...

Commander Satair: We've got other concerns, Velasquez.  Renee and her team 
have analyzed the wreckage of the Vulture transports.

Lt. Commander White: We detected no trace of moloton particles.  The trucks 
weren't carrying moloton bombs... or explosives of any kind, for that matter!

Lt. Velasquez: Then what were they carrying?

Commander Satair: Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

--------------------------------------
MISSION IX - EGG IN YOUR FACE
--------------------------------------

Commander Satair's office
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Lt. Commander White: Wolstencroft must have known we'd want to keep the 
moloton bombs out of E.G.G.'s hands.  Looks like the Vulture command wanted to 
turn their splinter faction against us.

Commander Satair: And they succeeded.  Your confrontation with the E.G.G. 
skids is already having repercussions.  We've lost all contact with E.G.G.

Lt. Velasquez: Good!  Now we can start treating them like the scum-suckers 
they really are!

Commander Satair: Nevertheless, in future missions you will refrain from 
attacking E.G.G. skids unless they attack you first.

Lt. Velasquez: Don't count on it.

Commander Satair: We need to stabilize the situation with a gesture of good 
will.

Lt. Velasquez: I'll give them a gesture - not of good will, though!

Commander Satair: You will do as you are told!  If you don't, I'll remedy the 
situation by sending you to E.G.G. with a formal apology and a side order of 
bacon!

Lt. Velasquez: The way I see it, Commander, you're just a short walk from 
getting your butt blown off by two dozen Moloch clones in suped-up Vulture 
skids!  Let me state for the record -- if I see anything that even remotely 
looks like a Vulture, I'll blow it to shrapnel, E.G.G. or not!

Commander Satair: Velasquez, you really piss me off.

Lt. Velasquez: That's your job - to get pissed off.  But don't let your 
attitude get in my way.  Sir.  

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Dispatcher: Our surveillance copters have detected four Vulture radar trucks 
patrolling the streets, Vel.  Satair thinks the trucks are scanning the city 
for indications of an E.G.G. base.  He wants the trucks and their Vulture 
escorts neutralized.

Lt. Velasquez: Consider it done.

Dispatcher: You're on your own, Vel.  None of the other T.D. officers want to 
fly with you.  Face it babe, you're a health hazard.

Lt. Velasquez: Tell that to E.G.G.

Dispatcher: Several E.G.G. skids have already begun hunting for those four 
radar trucks.  This time, try not to get in their way.

Lt. Velasquez: I couldn't care less about the E.G.G. skids.  If they get in my 
way, I'll blast them into melted sludge.

Dispatcher: Should I convey your sentiments to the commander?

Lt. Velasquez: Convey my middle finger to the commander, with a side order of 
bacon.  And no apology.

Dispatcher: Just make sure you destroy all four radar trucks!

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Frank Marko: This is Frank Marko, wing leader of the E.G.G. splinter faction, 
requesting your assistance to help destroy the Vulture radar trucks.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't do requests.  My assigned mission is to take out any 
Vultures in the area, so keep your skids out of my sights!

[Mission ends.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
After the mission

Dispatcher: Congratulations, Vel!  You made some new enemies today!

Lt. Velasquez: So what's the bad news?

Dispatcher: Some of them are still alive.

Lt. Velasquez: Go jump in a power converter.

Meanwhile...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
That evening

Dr. Philip Ramses: We have the E.G.G. wing leader, Frank Marko, in custody at 
our lab.  He is becoming more and more cooperative as we show him how much fun 
there is to be had with the human body and a few select chemicals...

Colonel Wolstencroft: Excellent work, doctor.

Dr. Philip Ramses: He should be ready for questioning now, Colonel.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Not questioning, Philip.  Just one question... the only 
one that really matters.  A simple thing, to point out the location of E.G.G. 
headquarters on a map, no?

--------------------------------------
MISSION X - SCRAMBLED EGGS
--------------------------------------

[Vulture skids surround an upside-down U-shaped building as the center of it 
explodes.]

Vulture ships move in on the E.G.G. Headquarters...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
At the same time

Colonel Wolstencroft: Report on your progress, Major.

Major Dispater: My skids have surrounded the E.G.G. Headquarters, and our 
forces have begun penetrating the facility's innermost defenses.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Excellent.  And thus ends the brief but nonetheless 
annoying legacy of our notorious splinter faction.  I want no survivors, 
Dispater.  Once you've destroyed their base, hunt down any E.G.G. sympathizers 
lurking about the city streets.  Every last remnant of that ill-begotten 
organization must be eliminated.

Major Dispater: I'll execute the survivors myself!

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
Three hours later

Commander Satair: At eight-thirty hours this morning, Vulture command ordered 
an attack on the splinter faction's secret headquarters near the 
Dachrah-Orzulon spice mines. Exactly forty-five radians later, the Vulture 
media net broadcasted the signal on all uncoded televid channels showing the 
E.G.G. base being destroyed.  We know that several E.G.G. sympathizers are 
still in the city.  Your job will be to escort their transports to the city 
perimeter.

Lt. Velasquez: We should let the Vultures have them.

Commander Satair: Do us all a favor, Velasquez...

Lt. Velasquez: They picked a fight with Vulture command and couldn't defend 
themselves.  We owe them nothing.

Lt. Junior Koth: Yesss, thisss would be out bessst chanccce to dissspatch the 
E.G.G.sss.

Commander Satair: Since our primary job is to keep the streets safe, I frankly 
don't care whether you protect the transports or not.  But there will be 
Vulture skids scouring the streets, and I want them dealt with.

Lt. Velasquez: Then let's get out there!

Commander Satair: Lieutenant Velasquez, you and Lieutenant Junior Grade Koth 
will patrol in Hornets.  Ensign Lazar and Lieutenant Dellestro will patrol in 
Stilettos.

Lt. Velasquez: Why do I always get the Selarian wingmen?

Commander Satair: You're cold-blooded.  You can relate.

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Commander Dispater: Velasquez.  Do not interfere with out business - the 
E.G.G. faction deserved what it got.

Lt. Velasquez: Don't count on it, bub.  My orders include paving the roads 
with your vital organs.  Don't think that a Vulture II will protect you!!!

Commander Dispater: Ahh, but have you ever shot your way through 6 inches of 
extra armor?

[Mission ends.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
After the mission

Dispatcher: So, Vel, how'd things go out there?

Lt. Velasquez: Get your ugly face off my vid display.

Dispatcher: Ooooo!  Sounds like someone hasn't had sex in a while!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XI - STILETTO HEELS
--------------------------------------

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Next day

Colonel Wolstencroft: I'm tired of excuses, Dispater.  You assured me that all 
the rotten E.G.G.s would be dealt with, yet several continue to stink up my 
city!

Major Dispater: I will locate the renegades, but I need more pilots.  The 
Traffic Department trashed my best wingmen!

Colonel Wolstencroft: We do not exist in an ideal world, Major.  If that were 
so, I'd have little use for militant imbeciles like you.

Major Dispater: That little bitch Velasquez really pisses me off!

Colonel Wolstencroft: She's just a woman, Dispater.  Nevertheless, it's 
painfully obvious that your pilots are ill-equipped to handle her.  I have, 
therefore, no choice but to find someone more skilled in such matters.

Major Dispater: That will not be necessary, sir!

Colonel Wolstencroft: But I believe it is necessary.  Don't let Velasquez 
trouble you further, Major.  I wouldn't want you or your wingmen to suffer any 
further... humiliations!

[T.D. Shooting range.  Several lanes are lit with green, with red human 
silhouettes at the end.  Each gun is attached to a podium and resembles a long 
rifle with a flashlight.]

T.D. shooting range
That afternoon...

Dispatcher: Tired of living targets, Vel?

Lt. Velasquez: Shouldn't you be whacking off somewhere?

Dispatcher: You know I hate to bother you...

Lt. Velasquez: Too late.  Next time, talk to me face to face!

Dispatcher: Um, no.  I don't want my face rearranged.

Lt. Velasquez: It would be an improvement.

Dispatcher: No time for insults, Vel.  Striker and Kendrick were nearly 
blasted to pieces on their patrol two hours ago.  Looks like the Vultures have 
some hired guns --- freelance mercenaries in stolen Stilettos.  Carlyle got 
vaped by a Stiletto patrolling the delta grid.

Lt. Velasquez: Carlyle was probably nuked on spice.

Dispatcher: Now she's just nuked.  Satair believes the mercs are flying stolen 
T.D. vehicles to confuse us.

Lt. Velasquez: Sure.  Satair gets confused putting on his boots.

Dispatcher: Renee White thinks the skids were stolen from a hangar in 
Vultanova.  She says the Vultanovan skidyards have had a problem with security 
ever since their power grid went down.

Lt. Velasquez: White only knows what she reads on cereal boxes in the morning.

Dispatcher: Yeah, well, she eats a lot of smart foods.  Listen, the mercs have 
been trashing the streets in their spare time, giving us T.D. officers a bad 
name.  You'll need a Stiletto just to keep up with them.  Satair wants them 
vaped before they cause more damage.  Word is they want you really badly.

Lt. Velasquez: Me?  Do I have a partner?

Dispatcher: You really want one?  I'm surprised.

Lt. Velasquez: Just to keep the Vulture skids busy while I play with the 
mercenaries.

Dispatcher: I'll get Flannery and Dickle on deck.  Hope you like rookies!

Lt. Velasquez: Dickle?!?!  I've got a partner named Dickle?!?!?  I'll just 
tell Vultures that and they'll fly into each other, they'll be laughing so 
hard!

Dispatcher: Your wingmen will fly Hornets, so you don't confuse them with the 
mercenaries' Stilettos.

Lt. Velasquez: Just tell Flaky and Dickie to stay out of my sights, or I'll 
make burnt cookies out of those rookies.

Dispatcher: I'll tell them.

[Mission commences.]

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Five radians later

Colonel Wolstencroft: Our attempt to establish law and order in the streets is 
once again thwarted by Lieutenant Velasquez and the Traffic Department.  I'm 
not pleased, Major Dispater.  Not in the slightest.  Quite frankly, I was 
expecting more from you.

Major Dispater: Me?!?  I had nothing to do with it!  I'm not the one who hired 
idiot mercenaries to kill Velasquez!  You told me to stay out of it!

Colonel Wolstencroft: And did you?  Your attempts to dispatch Lieutenant 
Velasquez were even less successful.

Major Dispater: My wingmen are incompetent.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Then you attribute your failure to the inadequacy of 
your men?  Should I have them executed?  All of them?

Major Dispater: It would be a good start.

Colonel Wolstencroft: I think it would be cheaper to just execute their leader.

Major Dispater: No!  That's crazy!  Please wait!

Colonel Wolstencroft: I don't think so... guards!

[Commander Belial replaces Major Dispater's face]

Colonel Wolstencroft: Commander Belial, you are now in charge of the mobile 
ground forces.  Disperse your pilots throughout the city.  I want the streets 
under our control in sixty-four hours.

Commander Belial: Hail, Vulturnus!

Colonel Wolstencroft: Get me Peter Amiel through the T.D. network.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Colonel Wolstencroft, sir, what can I do for you?

Colonel Wolstencroft: Lieutenant Velasquez is a menace.  I want her off the 
streets... right now.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: That will be difficult.  Satair has... well... a soft 
spot for Velasquez.

Colonel Wolstencroft: I see.  Naturally, if the task is too difficult for you, 
I'll understand completely.  However, the cost of spice is going up, I'm 
afraid... well beyond the meager salary of a Traffic Department officer like 
yourself.  I don't reward loyalty, Amiel, only results.  I suggest you try 
your best to make me happy if you want more drugs.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: I'll leave Satair no choice but to give Velasquez the 
hook.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XII - CLIPPED WINGS
--------------------------------------

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Two days later

Commander Satair: I just received your psych evaluation from personnel. It's 
disturbing, to say the least.

Lt. Velasquez: Save it, commander.  I'm on patrol in 15 radians.

Commander Satair: You're not going anywhere, Velasquez.  I'm pulling you off 
the streets.

Lt. Velasquez: The hell you are!

Commander Satair: Your lack of discipline is appalling.  You're a mess, 
Velasquez.  According to your psych evaluation, you're too unstable to pilot a 
spice transport, let alone an armed skid.

Lt. Velasquez: And you're going to trust a stupid, full-of-shit computer psych 
evaluation?

Commander Satair: Well I can't trust you, can I?  You're deceitful, malicious 
and ill-tempered.  No one in the department trusts you.  Hell, none of the 
other officers even like you!  I've seen Uthidian sunlizards with more friends!

Lt. Velasquez: Sure, and most of them work in this department!

Commander Satair: Say what you like, Velasquez.  From this point forward, 
until you are judged fit enough to resume your duties, your combat missions 
will be limited to those created in the simulation chambers.

Lt. Velasquez: Anything else?

Commander Satair: Yes... you're dismissed, Velasquez.

Operations Coordinators Office
Later on...

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Velasquez!  What are you doing here?

Lt. Velasquez: Go back to bed, Amiel.  You never saw me here.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: I'm afraid I can't do that, Velasquez.  I need to know 
what you're up to!

Lt. Velasquez: Satair's pulled me from all active skid missions.  I'm 
reassigning myself to helicopter surveillance.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: You can't access classified operations files!

Lt. Velasquez: Yes I can.  You showed me Satair's decoding matrix, remember?  
And unless you want Satair to know about that small breach of security, I 
suggest you don't mention this to him.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: You're digging a big hole for yourself, Velasquez.  If 
the commander finds out...

Lt. Velasquez: ... I'll come right back here and beat the crap out of you.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Satair is right.  You really are screwed in the head!

Lt. Velasquez: Don't make me prove it to you!

[T.D. Helicopter Hangar: Two helicopters in desert camouflage sit on helipads 
in front of a non-descript silver building.]

T.D. Helicopter Hangar
25 radians later...

Commander Satair: Velasquez!  What do you think you're doing?

Lt. Velasquez: My laundry.  What the r'ox does it look like I'm doing?

Commander Satair: You do not have authorization to pilot a recon helicopter.  
Report to my office immediately!

Lt. Velasquez: Grant me clearance to launch, or I'll fly through the hangar 
restraints!

Commander Satair: Velasquez, I have two Hornets escorting a medical convoy to 
the Kappelar hospital facility outside Vulthaven.  The last thing they need is 
an unreliable chopper pilot buzzing over their heads!

Lt. Velasquez: This sucker's loaded for bear, Commander.  I'll take out those 
Vultures before they get within range of the convoy!

Commander Satair: Look Velasquez, I'll clear you to save the hangar, but 
please be careful! Just because you're invincible hovering above the city 
doesn't mean that that convoy is - watch where you shoot!

Lt. Velasquez: Don't worry, Commander.  Flying one of these things is easier 
than on the ground - no buildings to worry about!  Now open the hangar!

[Mission commences.]

T.D. helicopter hangar
After the mission...

Dispatcher: Want some advice, Vel -- free of charge?

Lt. Velasquez: I certainly wouldn't pay for it...

Dispatcher: Before you steal another one of out helicopters, take a flying 
lesson first.  You could be arrested for flying under the influence!  That 
medical convoy was important... and now it's mostly scattered bits of metal 
and medicine!

Lt. Velasquez: Say that to my face and I'll put yours through a teranium wall!

Dispatcher: Don't get your rotors in an uproar.

Lt. Velasquez: I've got a missile with your name on it!

Dispatcher: I just hope you like long vacations, Vel.  Looks like you might 
have a lot of free time on your hands, if Satair doesn't lock you up as it is!

Lt. Velasquez: The only thing Satair ever locks up is his jaw.

Dispatcher: I hear the Seleri Dune Sea is nice this time of year...

Lt. Velasquez: Then go take a flying leap in it.  I'm sure one of the janitors 
can cover for you - and probably do a better job!

Operations Coordinators Office
Later...

Op. Coordinator Amiel: There was nothing I could do.  Velasquez used Satair's 
access code to secure a recon helicopter.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Your security measures are disgraceful, Amiel.  I 
suppose I'll have to deal with Lieutenant Velasquez myself.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Don't worry, Mr. Wolstencroft.  Commander Satair's 
stripped Velasquez of her security clearance.  She can't even use an elevator, 
let alone a hangar.

Colonel Wolstencroft: How reassuring.

[Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge: Several red stools are situated 
around a half-circle bar in a dark room.  A single pillar with a menu and 
drink bottles is in the back.]

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Later...

Screwdriver: Would you like another kiaji sunrise, Lieutenant?

Lt. Velasquez: If I want one, I'll ask for it.

Screwdriver: Of course.  Excuse my intrusion.  Difficult day in the streets?

Lt. Velasquez: I've been relieved of duty.

Screwdriver: Ah.  Satair's got you flying simulations.

Lt. Velasquez: What of it?

Screwdriver: Nothing.  Maybe you would like a Selarian Sandripper?

Lt. Velasquez: Back off, boltbrain, or I'll put another dent in that wireless 
head of yours.

Screwdriver: The name's Screwdriver, not boltbr...

Lt. Velasquez: You got crossed wires?  I said back off!

Screwdriver: Certainly.  Want to know how I got the dent in my head?

Lt. Velasquez: No.

Screwdriver: Your father gave it to me.

Lt. Velasquez: My father?  How did you know him?

Screwdriver: He liked Selarian Sandrippers.  Came here all the time.  Never 
ordered just one... always had to have three or four at once.

Lt. Velasquez: And the dent?

Screwdriver: It was before the Vulture incursion.  Your father was off duty, 
having just finished his patrol.  He drank 6 sandrippers back to back and 
picked a fight with another Sechian officer.  When I cut him off and asked him 
to leave, your father got made and shot me with his projectile pistol.  The 
bullet deflected off my helmplate.

Lt. Velasquez: Sounds like something I would do.

Screwdriver: Ah, so there's some truth to genetic heredity.

Lt. Velasquez: Was he suspended?

Screwdriver: Two weeks.  Sent to the simulation room for two weeks.  Your 
father hated it.  But then came the Vulture incursion... and he was back on 
patrol before you could say faulty wiring.  They needed him.  If you wait 
around long enough, Velasquez, they'll need you too.

Lt. Velasquez: You're not half bad, Screwdriver.

Screwdriver: I'm not a boltbrain, Velasquez, and I see that neither are you.

Two weeks later...

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters

Commander Satair: Lost two officers on that last patrol.

Lt. Commander White: Relay station reports fewer Vultures on the streets.  
That's a good sign.

Commander Satair: No it's not.  They're probably up to something.

Lt. Commander White: I'm sure our contacts in the Vulture media net will keep 
us well informed.

Commander Satair: I'm thinking of putting Velasquez back out there.

Lt. Commander White: It's only been two weeks!  She's in no condition to fly a 
skid, you said so yourself.  You can't buckle under now.

Commander Satair: Four officers have died since I pulled her off the line.

Lt. Commander White: More will die if you put her back out there.

Commander Satair: I'm running out of time, Renee.  I'm running out of time... 
I'm running out of pilots, I'm running out of options!

That night

In the quarters of Lt. Velasquez...

[Velasquez's body dissipates from the ground up as she reacts in surprise.]

A thin hum fills the air, and Velasquez feels herself vanishing....

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
5 radians later

Colonel Wolstencroft: Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have 
believed it!  Your abilities in the field of mind manipulation are truly 
amazing!  You have surpassed my highest expectations with your latest... 
well... accomplishment.  Congratulations to you both, gentlemen!  Velasquez, 
you are mine!

[Velasquez's face appears, labeled as Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez]

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIII - A PRESSING ENGAGEMENT
--------------------------------------

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Three days later

Colonel Wolstencroft: Do you know who I am?

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: Colonel Bram Wolstencroft, director of 
operations in Vulthaven

Colonel Wolstencroft: Good.  Now tell me what is your name, current rank, and 
posting?

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: Marta Louise Velasquez.  Lieutenant Colonel, 
ninth squadron.  Currently stationed in Vulthaven, Seche.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Lieutenant Colonel, eh?  You rise through the ranks 
quickly, my dear.

Dr. Philip Ramses: We thought we'd make immediate use of her combat ability.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Good thinking, doctor.  Lieutenant Colonel Velasquez, 
kindly tell us who your commanding officer is?

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: Doctor Philip Ramses, scientist, Vulthaven.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Really?  I see there's still some work to be done, 
doctor.

Dr. Philip Ramses: We'll make the necessary... adjustment immediately.  This 
was simply for debugging purposes.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Good.  Well, I think it's time we assigned our new 
lieutenant colonel her first mission.

[Vulture hangar:  A long runway runs on the left, while multiple bays, each 
with a Vulture Mark I skid stretch off the right.]

Vulture hangar
Vulture Command Institute
Ten radians later...

Commander Belial: Lieutenant Colonel Velasquez, you and your wingmen will 
patrol the city for T.D. skids.  Destroy all T.D. vehicles you encounter 
without hesitation.

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: I don't need wingmen, Commander.

Commander Belial: I have no patience for disobedience, Lieutenant Colonel.  
You may rank higher than me, but I speak for Wolstencroft.  If you fail to 
perform your mission, you will be executed.

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: You couldn't execute a petrified lava lizard.

Commander Belial: You are gravely mistaken. Your skid has been outfitted with 
an ion detonator that will go off after a certain amount of time unless you 
have destroyed the enemy and gotten back to base, so behave!  Understood?

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: Understood.

[Mission starts: You pilot a Vulture Mark II skid and primarily destroy the 
slow, ineffective Stingray skids.]

Vulture hangar
Vulture Command Institute
After mission...

Colonel Wolstencroft: A convincing display, Lieutenant Colonel Velasquez.  
Your allegiance to Vulturnus will earn you more rewards than you can possibly 
imagine.

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Five radians later

Colonel Wolstencroft: I will confirm your flight performance with Commander 
Belial.  He does not, by the way, take kindly to your insults.

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: Old habit.

Colonel Wolstencroft: From this time forth, I suggest you behave yourself in 
his presence.  As for now, please report to the doctors for further treatment.

Vulture Lt. Colonel Velasquez: I'll do as you ask.

Colonel Wolstencroft: I'm sure you will.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIV - PIECE OF MIND
--------------------------------------

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Next day

Commander Satair: Velasquez would never join the Vultures... at least not 
willingly!

Lt. Commander White: You saw her psych evaluation.  You know how reckless and 
undisciplined she is!

Commander Satair: Reckless and undisciplined -- yes. Treacherous -- no!  
Nothing in her personnel record indicates that!  Besides, I know why she 
behaves the way she does and believe me, that alone proves the point!  One of 
my officers has been taken and turned against us.  I want to know how!

Lt. Commander White: That doesn't matter anymore.  Dar, she's a threat to our 
department.  What matters is how we're going to deal with her.

Commander Satair: No, Renee.  What matters is how we're going to get her back.

Vulture laboratory
Vulture Command Institute 
Later...

Dr. Philip Ramses: Activate cerebral scanner.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: Scanner activated.  I'm registering some minor 
fluctuations in her neural impulses of her thalamus and isocortex.  
Stabilizing.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Lower the mind probe.  Is it ready?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: Hold on... mind probe ready.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Begin purging existing memory...

[Massive fireball]

Memories flood into Vel's mind... 
Her life, her friends...
Her father's death...

Dr. Philip Ramses: Memory purge begin.  Erasure sequence ready.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: Not yet.  Adjust the memory fibers of her thalamus to 
integrate her new thought matrixes.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Done.  I'm incorporating an altered personality matrix at 
the same time.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: What we're doing will change her forever.

Dr. Philip Ramses: What a wonderful experiment!

Dr. Leopold Ramses: We'll leave no piece of her mind unturned.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Memory probe complete.  Activating erasure sequence...

[Massive fireball]

Velasquez feels her memories slipping...
And her father's death fades from her mind...

Vulture laboratory
Vulture Command Institute
2 hours later...

Dr. Philip Ramses: You are beautiful.  So much more than a scientific 
benchmark.

Lt. Velasquez: What am I doing here?

Dr. Philip Ramses: You belong here, with me.  Wolstencroft considers you a 
mere project, but you are so much more to me.

Lt. Velasquez: Who are you?

Dr. Philip Ramses: Dr. Philip Ramses... you should know that...

Lt. Velasquez: I don't... remember...

Dr. Philip Ramses: The memory purge may have scrambled the neural impulses of 
your thalamus.  A shot of terocil should help stabilize aberrant brain 
activity.

Ten radians later...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute

Commander Belial: Lieutenant Colonel Velasquez has escaped!  She stabbed Dr. 
Ramses with a syringe of terocil.  She's used his ID card to override security 
in the skid hangar!

Colonel Wolstencroft: If she leaves the hangar, destroy her.

Commander Belial: She's deactivated the ion detonator time bomb aboard her 
skid!  

Colonel Wolstencroft: Then kill her yourself.

Commander Belial: I'll jam the satellite signal to her ship.  She won't have a 
map, so she'll be blind out there.  She won't last two radians!

Colonel Wolstencroft: You're wasting time talking to me, Commander.

Commander Belial: I told you she was unreliable!

Colonel Wolstencroft: The last thing I want is a lecture.  I'll warn you once, 
Belial.  If Velasquez makes it back to Satair alive, you won't live to regret 
your failure.

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Lt. Striker: Prepare to die, Vulture!

Commander Velasquez: Striker!  It's Velasquez!

Lt. Striker: Velasquez?  What the...?  I'll radio base and tell them to clear 
your ship for landing!

Commander Velasquez: Thanks, Striker.  I'll try not to shoot up your ship...

Lt. Striker: I guess that's as close to thanks I can expect from you, 
Velasquez....

[Mission ends.]

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Fifteen radians later

Commander Satair: Is this your idea of defection, Velasquez?  I believe I'm 
entitled to an explanation!

Lt. Velasquez: The Vultures tried to brainwash me, Commander.  I managed to 
escape the V.C.I. in a Vulture II.

Commander Satair: Yes, we appreciate the opportunity to study the stolen 
Vulture skid more closely.  In fact, Renee is studying it very carefully.  But 
I'm more concerned with your state of mind!

Lt. Velasquez: Am I under arrest?

Commander Satair: Frankly, I'm not sure what to do with you, Velasquez.  
Perhaps Dr. Weathers should conduct another psych evaluation.  We need to 
determine how the Vulture brainwashing affected you.  Right now, you're 
certainly not the Velasquez I know.

[T.D. laboratories: Two gurneys in a small, dark room.  One is leaning up 
right.  The other is next to a wall with monitors of EKGs and other line 
graphs.]

T.D. laboratories
The next day...

Dr. Weathers: Do you remember anything about your experience, other than what 
you have already told me?

Lt. Velasquez: Somehow I was able to resist it.  I don't know how.

Dr. Weathers: When they started boring into your mind, what did you do?

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not sure.  I tired to concentrate on the most intense 
memory I could think of... emptied my mind of everything else.

Dr. Weathers: Very smart.  In all likelihood, you shielded your other memories 
by sacrificing one that affected you most deeply.  Do you remember what the 
memory was?

Commander Satair: Probably her father.  That would explain why her personality 
has changed.

Dr. Weathers: Ah, yes, your father.  If I recall, he's the reason you joined 
the Traffic Department in the first place.

Lt. Velasquez: I still remember him, but I don't remember what happened to him.

Dr. Weathers: This could be a big step forward in her treatment, Commander.  
The Vultures unknowingly stripped her of the one thing that made her a threat 
to herself and your department.  Her entire behavior has been changed with the 
loss of one unpleasant memory.  Feelings of guilt, hatred, rage -- they're no 
longer the driving forces of her personality.  She literally gave the Vultures 
a piece of her mind.

Commander Satair: That's the Velasquez I remember.

Lt. Velasquez: I want to know what happened to my father.

Dr. Weathers: In due time, my dear.  We don't want to rush things.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XV - A MATTER OF TRUST
--------------------------------------

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Two days later

Colonel Wolstencroft: How's your brother, Dr. Ramses?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: The treatment is progressing.  The terocil injection 
damaged several of his neural pathways, but I've begun the process of cerebral 
reconstruction.  He should recover.

Colonel Wolstencroft: I sympathize with your anger, doctor.  We must however 
postpone any schemes of vengeance.  I have received notice that the General 
Kreel himself is due to arrive in Vulthaven tomorrow.

Lt. Colonel Mammon: He is dissatisfied with our progress?

Colonel Wolstencroft: That's a profound understatement.  He intends to place 
the city under tight military control.  We have until then to prove that the 
streets are already under my dominion.  Mammon, you are now in charge of our 
ground forces.  Mobilize your skids, Lieutenant Colonel.  Destroy any T.D. 
officers you encounter!

Dr. Leopold Ramses: And Velasquez?

Colonel Wolstencroft: Undergoing intense psychological analysis as we speak.  
It will be some time, perhaps a long time, before Satair puts her back on the 
streets.  And speaking of Satair, I believe your molecular converter is 
scheduled for another test, doctor...

Commander Satair's office
Traffic Department Headquarters
At the same time

Commander Satair: As much as I need good pilots, I'm not convinced you're 
ready to resume your duties, Velasquez.  Dr. Weathers recommends that you stay 
off the streets.

Lt. Velasquez: I'm fine!  Physically and mentally.

Commander Satair: There could be residual effects of the brainwashing.

Lt. Velasquez: Brainwashed or not, I'm still the best pilot you've got.

Commander Satair: At least you haven't lost your modesty.

Lt. Velasquez: Just give me one chance, Commander, just one chance to prove 
that I haven't lost my edge... that I can be trusted!

Commander Satair: Velasquez, I don't think you've met Lieutenant Cartel. 
Nicola recently transferred from Vultanova.

Lt. Cartel: I've been assigned as your replacement.  I must say the Vultures 
in this city don't hold a candle to the ones in Vultanova.  They lack the 
tenacity.

Lt. Velasquez: Glad to see you're enjoying yourself.

Lt. Cartel: This department needed someone good and reliable. That's why I'm 
here.

Commander Satair: Lt. Cartel follows orders to the letter.

Lt. Velasquez: Just give me a chance!

Commander Satair: To do what?  Avenge your father's death?

Lt. Velasquez: No, to do my job.

Lt. Cartel: Wake up to reality, Velasquez.  Commander, I don't think she's 
ready for a combat mission.

Commander Satair: Somehow you always manage to override my better judgment, 
Velasquez... get in your gear and report here in thirty-five radians.

Lt. Velasquez: Thanks, Commander.

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
35 radians later

Commander Satair: We've just received word from intelligence that General 
Kreel of the Vulturnus High Command is coming to the city.  That means we have 
to expect an increased Vulture military presence.

Lt. Cartel: Just what kind of military presence are we talking about?

Commander Satair: Our contacts at channel three have confirmed that troops 
from the cities of Vultanova and Vultigoth are on their way.  They're arriving 
in armored troop transports disguised as heavy ion trucks.  The Vultures have 
decided to escort them safely to this city's V.C.I.

Lt. Cartel: And we've been ordered to take them out.

Commander Satair: Yes.  Cartel -- you, Striker, and Noyce will patrol the 
streets in Stingrays.  The trucks are running with very heavy armor, so be 
careful and use missiles.  Velasquez, you'll be piloting a recon helicopter.  
Your job is to provide cover and take out the escorts.

Lt. Velasquez: I could take out the trucks as well...

Lt. Cartel: Just take out the skids!

Commander Satair: Yes.  Let Cartel worry about the transports.  You 
concentrate on the Vulture vanguard.

Lt. Striker: How many trucks are there out there?

Commander Satair: We're not sure.  But they'll be coming in two convoys.  One 
from the west, one from the north.

Lt. Cartel: Commander, the last thing we need is Velasquez dropping bombs all 
over the city!

Lt. Striker: Or on our heads!

Lt. Cartel: I recommend you assign Kendrick to the recon 'copter.

Commander Satair: You have a mission, Cartel.  Get to it!

Helicopter hangar
Five radians later

Lt. Cartel: You may have the commander's sympathy, Velasquez, but not mine!  
You screw this up, and I'll be scrubbing the hangar floor with your face!

Lt. Velasquez: I'll try not to drop a bomb on your Hornet, Cartel.

[Mission commences.]

Helicopter hangar
After the mission...

Dispatcher: Your piloting's improved, Vel.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't need compliments.

Dispatcher: Nah, what you need is a man!  I'd be happy to fill in the void...

Lt. Velasquez: I still don't like you.

Dispatcher: Can't those Vultures do anything right?

Lt. Velasquez: Where's Commander Satair?

Dispatcher: You're actually looking for him?  Boy, you're really screwed up!

Lt. Velasquez: Just tell me where he is.

Screwdriver's bar and Officer's Lounge
Later...

Lt. Velasquez: Come here often, Commander?

Screwdriver: Commander Satair is one of my regular patrons, Velasquez.  Can I 
get you something?

Lt. Velasquez: The usual.

Screwdriver: One Selarian Sandripper coming up.

Commander Satair: Your father used to drink those.

Lt. Velasquez: Did Screwdriver tell you that?

Commander Satair: No, I knew Ric well, Velasquez.  We were partners during the 
Vulture incursion.  

Lt. Velasquez: You never told me that.  You flew with my father?

Commander Satair: I flew with your father... on the mission he died.  His last 
flight was against a fleet of Vulture ships and military transports entering 
the area.  This was before the city was renamed Vulthaven.  My Hornet was 
crippled with ion fire.  Your father was flying home from a long stretch of 
garrison duty, and he jumped in to help me out.  In the end, he died covering 
my retreat back to T.D. headquarters.  I've never forgiven myself for the 
events of that day.

Lt. Velasquez: Is that why you put up with my shit all the time?

Commander Satair: Part of it.  Years before the incursion, your father and I 
fought for the affections of a woman named Maria -- your mother.  We both 
adored her, but Ric was the one who married her.  To say your father and I 
were friends... that would be a lie.  In fact, we hated each other.

Lt. Velasquez: Must be genetic.

Screwdriver: Remember the story about the dent in my head?  Your father gave 
that to me after he and the commander started punching each other's lights out 
in the middle of my lounge.

Lt. Velasquez: You were the other officer?

Commander Satair: Ric and I had many fights.  We both had serious attitude 
problems back then.  But, when it came down to us against the Vultures, your 
father gave his life to save mine.  I won't forget that.  

Screwdriver: You see, Velasquez?  The commander isn't a spineless sandworm 
after all.

Commander Satair: Spineless sandworm?

Lt. Velasquez: Just a figure of speech.  Can I be frank, Commander?  
Lieutenant Cartel is really beginning to piss me off.

Commander Satair: She's got a lot to prove.  In many ways, she reminds me of 
you.  She's determined, insolent... and committed.

Lt. Velasquez: She should be committed - to a psychiatric institute!

Commander Satair: You don't know how many times I have said the same about you!

Screwdriver: You Sechians talk too much.  Drink your Selarian Sandripper... 
before it cools.

That night

Commander Satair's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Commander Satair, I need to speak with you.

Commander Satair: Can't this wait?  I have six more patrols to assign by 
thirty-three radians.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: This can't wait.

Commander Satair: Fine.  Come in.  Just make it quick.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: This shouldn't take too long, sir.

[Amiel looks on as Commander Satair evaporates in a red mist.]

A thin hum fills the air... and Amiel watches as Satair vanishes in a red 
haze...

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVI - THE NEMESIS
--------------------------------------

Vulture Laboratory
Vulture Command Institute
Next Day

Commander Satair: What the hell happened?  Where am I?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: You're at the V.C.I., Commander Satair of the Traffic 
Department.  It was Bram's wish to reintegrate you.  Against my better 
judgment, I conceded.

Commander Satair: I don't know what you're talking about.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: You military types never do.  This tiny egg breaks down 
molecular matter, stores it, and reintegrates it with less than point zero-two 
percent dispersion.  It will forever ruin the luggage industry, I'm sure.

Commander Satair: That's how you abducted Velasquez and I.  Who are you?  Some 
sort of Vulture freak?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: I am Dr. Leopold Ramses, a scientist.  My friends call me 
Leopold... but you may call me Dr. Ramses.

Commander Satair: I demand to speak with Wolstencroft... immediately!

Dr. Leopold Ramses: In time.  You must understand, Bram's a busy man.  He's 
preparing a special video broadcast coinciding with the arrival of General 
Kreel.  I'm sure your fellow T.D. officers will find the program... well... 
engrossing.

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Twenty-five radians later

Lt. Colonel Mammon: The general will be here any moment, sir.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Here he is now.

General Kreel: Your obesity disgusts me!

Colonel Wolstencroft: Life's been good.

General Kreel: You repulsive swine!  Vulturnus is on the verge of galactic 
conquest, and I'm sent to this desert wasteland to correct your inept blunders!

Colonel Wolstencroft: Don't look at me!  If anyone's to blame, it's those 
ridiculous military morons you keep sending me.  Lieutenant Colonel Mammon, 
you are dismissed.  To prove my point, I'm prepared to demonstrate how well I 
control the city without military assistance.  You see, General, an old 
nemesis of mine has requested an audience, and I'm about to give him one... 
his execution on the public networks!

[Satair sits in a brown chair, strapped down, with a headband.  Tendrils of 
electricity dance over him.  The image is supposed to provoke an electric 
chair.]

Satair's death is broadcasted...
And his suffering his heard throughout the city.

Acting Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
2 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: How did those bastards get through the security grid 
undetected??!?!?

Lt. Commander White: An intense security sweep of this facility has yielded 
few clues to explain how the commander was abducted.  The only clue we have is 
a faint atmosphere disturbance inside this office.  A similar pattern was 
found in your quarters after your unexplained disappearance.

Lt. Velasquez: What else?!?!?

Lt. Commander White: All we know is that sometime between last night and 0600 
radians this morning, Commander Satair was captured and taken to the V.C.I. at 
0915 radians, his execution was transmitted across all uncoded televid 
channels from here to Vultmandu.

Lt. Velasquez: I'll kill them!!  I'll vape every one of them, starting with 
that fat son-of-a-bitch Wolstencroft!!

Lt. Commander White: I'm convinced there's a traitor within the department.  
Someone with access to T.D. communications array, hangar, and personnel 
bunkers.  I've authorized a security check of all officers' quarters.

Lt. Velasquez: Who gave you authority?

Lt. Commander White: I did.  As operations specialist, I have direct control 
over this entire investigation.

Lt. Velasquez: Fine.  Do what you have to.  But Wolstencroft won't get away 
with this!!  I'll blast that Vulture slug into the next century!  I'll...

Lt. Commander White: Right now, I'm more concerned about uncovering a possible 
security breach within the department!  Until I find it, you're removed from 
active duty!

Lt. Velasquez: You and half the department couldn't remove me from active duty!

Lt. Commander White: You don't frighten me, Lieutenant Velasquez!

Lt. Velasquez: And you can't intimidate me, Acting Commander White!

Lt. Commander White: I'll have you locked up!

Lt. Velasquez: And I'll have you dragged through the streets of Vulthaven with 
your feet strapped to the airfoil of a Stingray!

Lt. Commander White: ... You really want Wolstencroft that badly?

Lt. Velasquez: I'm going to be his biggest nightmare!

Lt. Commander White: Very well... Lieutenant Cartel, report to my office 
immediately.

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
25 radians later

Lt. Cartel: I'm tired of running the gauntlet with you, Velasquez!  White 
wants you scrubbed, but I'm going to let the Vultures take care of that!

Lt. Velasquez: Just stay out of my sights, Cartel, or I'll take your head off.

Lt. Cartel: Fire at me, and I'll plaster your parts all over the city!

Lt. Velasquez: You couldn't plaster a wall!

Dispatcher: Did someone forget to put sugar in your coffee, Vel?  Maybe you 
two should kiss and make up.

Lt. Velasquez: Tell Officer Cactus that she can jam a missile up her ass and 
blow herself back to Vultanova!

Dispatcher: I'd rather not.  Your orders are to destroy the Vulture ion convoy 
and any Vulture skids you encounter... and be nice to your partner.

Lt. Velasquez: Go jump on a land mine!

Dispatcher: You women are so irritable.  I'm not granting anyone clearance 
until you girls settle your differences!

Lt. Cartel: Listen, you desert-brained lizard!  This Stingray is equipped with 
twelve medium-yield proton missiles.

Dispatcher: You babes wouldn't blow away a nice guy like me, would you?

Lt. Velasquez: Consider yourself warned.  Now clear us, Mr. Nice Guy, before I 
restructure your particular area of the hangar with my Hornet's pulse cannons!

Dispatcher: OK!  OK!  Clearance granted!

[Mission commences.]

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Five radians later

Colonel Wolstencroft: Operation Shutdown is waiting on only you, Amiel.  Has 
our little bug been introduced into the T.D. computer network yet?

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Commander White is conducting an intense security sweep 
of the facility.  I'm at risk of being uncovered just by talking to you, let 
alone fooling around with the network!

Colonel Wolstencroft: You just worry about programming the invasive sequence!  
If all goes well, I will personally guarantee your safe extradition from 
Vulthaven... and enough spice to last your lifetime.

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Thank you, Mr. Wol --

Lt. Colonel Mammon: The Traffic Department has destroyed our ion supply 
convoy, sir. My skids were unable to defend it.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Excellent, Commander.  Keep up the good work.

Vulture General Kreel: Do you always praise subordinates for failure?

Colonel Wolstencroft: I've run out of creative ways to execute them.  Besides, 
I have bigger fish to fry!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVII - DEFENSES DOWN
--------------------------------------

Acting Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Next morning

Lt. Kendrick: Commander, an unauthorized Hornet has been granted security 
clearance to leave the hangar!

Acting Commander White: Override the Hornet's clearance code and instruct the 
pilot to confirm ---

Lt. Kendrick: Too late.  The skid's left the hangar!

Acting Commander White: Track the skid's course and get me anyone who's 
already prepared for patrol!

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
A few seconds later

Acting Commander White: Velasquez!  An unauthorized Hornet has departed T.D. 
headquarters and is heading towards the city perimeter.  Locate and destroy 
the traitor before the skid escapes!  Whoever this is was probably responsible 
for Satair's kidnapping, so it's imperative that...

Lt. Velasquez: I'll nail the bastard.  Don't worry.  (to her comm) Whoever you 
are, you'd better get your Hornet back to T.D. headquarters before I blow you 
apart!

Op. Coordinator Amiel: Sorry to disappoint you, Velasquez, but I've got 
Vultures watching my back now!  You'll have to fight through them to get to 
me!  As they say on Vulturnus - adios, amigo!

Lt. Velasquez: As they say here in Vulthaven - prepare to die, you treacherous 
br'ach lizard!

[Mission commences.  When you destroy Amiel's skid, the image of Commander 
White stares forward in the T.D. command center.  Someone in a helmet and 
uniform sits to her right.  To her left is a console and a screen of 
Vulthaven's horizon.]

Someone: Amiel's skid is off the city grid, Commander.
Someone: The mainline system is down... we have lost contact with...
Someone: The hangar doors have sealed.  I cannot override them...
Someone: The ion defense screen is down...
Someone: Alert all skids on patrol to protect T.D. headquarters

[In the mission, you receive this communication.]

Commander White: We are experiencing a total system failure.  The magnetic 
defense field is down, and we have sfdhg.g.,... ... ..gdsm,.adg-ewbcz... 
tracking enemy skids.  Defend T.D. headquarters!  I rep ..faghjf... headqua.. 
fdhakhg.x. ... ... fd .. if a Vulture ship enters the upper hangar, he will be 
able to release a small bomb.  We can only take about three of these bombs!  
Hel.. ... dfahha ... losing contac.. fdqwyp athaklhd,''ddh ... ood luck!

Lt. Velasquez: No problem.  I'll stay close to base and take them out as they 
try to get to it!

[Mission ends.]

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Later...

Screwdriver: This one's on the house, Velasquez.  We owe you -- how do you 
humans say? -- big time!

Lt. Velasquez: I'm afraid I need more than a drink, Screwdriver.  I think I'm 
losing control of my life.  Ever since the commander's death, I've wanted to 
obliterate everything that lives and breathes!

Screwdriver: Praise to the diode god... at least I'm safe!

Lt. Velasquez: I came here for advice, not robot humor.

Screwdriver: But Velasquez, humor makes the world go round!

Lt. Velasquez: Then stop the damn planet, it's time I got off.

Screwdriver: You may find this hard to believe, but some of us would prefer it 
if you stayed around a while.

Lt. Velasquez: I'm surprised you can say that with a straight face!

Screwdriver: Don't be surprised.  I wasn't built with the ability to smile.

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Five radians later

General Kreel: You assured me the T.D. base would be left burning like a 
torch.  That I would see T.D. body parts flying across the cityscape like 
ashes on the wind, that sort of thing.  Wonderful imagery, Wolstencroft, but 
I'm afraid that it's still just an image.

Colonel Wolstencroft: Obviously, Commander Mammon is a bigger idiot than I 
imagined.  Let me assure you, General, the T.D. vermin will be exterminated!

General Kreel: Now I see why Vulture Command is considering a replacement.

Colonel Wolstencroft: A replacement?  I assure you, that will not be 
necessary.  At this very moment, my scientists are perfecting a new technology 
guaranteed to squash any resistance to Vulture domination!

General Kreel: Your speeches are more bloated than you are!  One more failure, 
and I'll puncture you like a balloon!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVIII - TIME BOMB
--------------------------------------

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Five radians later

Colonel Wolstencroft: Never underestimate the power of the scientific mind, 
General.  Military might is a poor substitute for ingenious invention, as I'm 
certain the good doctors will demonstrate.

General Kreel: Then why are you receiving an urgent communication from them?

Colonel Wolstencroft: Report, Doctor?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: Philip sabotaged the laborat..z. .!  The entire fz.z..x.  
Aflame, and the holojection appara..fz.zn..fz.. destroyed!

Colonel Wolstencroft: And your brother... where's Philip now?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: He inca...itated three guards!  I have to find him... 
fzn..z...,. get him back!  He .x....,z.. cerebral reconstruction!

Colonel Wolstencroft: Doctor Ramses, this isn't exactly a good time.

Dr. Leopold Ramses: The.f fzz.nzz z..!  His treatment isn't ..z.z.. .z.z... 
he's beom.z..f.zz,.. unstable!  It's .zz.zzzz..s fault!  I'll kill.z.x...!  
I'll get ....fz.z...z...fzz..xx, Velasquez  .z.z... or . I'll kill them all!

General Kreel: Another failure?

Upper hangar 
Traffic Department Headquarters
2 hours later

Lt. Cartel: I've got blast holes the size of Larcassan rats in the hull of my 
skid!

Lt. Velasquez: Then next time, stay out of my ion spread!

Lt. Cartel: Your ion spread was all over the stinking city!

Lt. Velasquez: So was your flying!  I had that Vulture bastard in my sights, 
and you crossed my firing line!

Lt. Cartel: If I hadn't moved in, that damn Vulture would be back at the 
V.C.I. instead of scattered in the streets!

Lt. Velasquez: Next time you steal my kill, I'll shove a pulse cannon so far 
up your ass, you'll be choking on raw energy for a week!

Lt. Cartel: I could waste you in a split second, Velasquez!  One missile, 
right between the eyes!

Lt. Velasquez: Just try it, you breastless bitch!

Lt. Cartel: I could punch your lights out!

Lt. Velasquez: You have trouble punching in to work!

Lt. Cartel: Enough!  We'll settle this once and for all, woman to woman!

Lt. Velasquez: You don't even qualify for the fight!

Lt. Cartel: You're an arrogant, ion-brained battle-whore.  My loyalty is to 
this department!  Your only loyalty is to yourself!

Lt. Velasquez: If you knew anything about loyalty, you wouldn't have been 
shipped out of Vultanova!

Acting Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
15 radians later

Acting Commander White: It's obvious that you two hate each other, so let's 
just maintain a professional perspective.  If you want to remain on active 
duty, you'll have to learn to work together as a team.

Lt. Cartel: I refuse to be her partner!

Lt. Velasquez: I'd rather fly with Kendrick!

Acting Commander White: Listen to me!  Frankly, I don't care much for either 
of you.  And I'm not the sympathetic r'ox Satair was.  You're flying together, 
and that's final!

Lt. Cartel: I'd rather fly a Vulture manure transport!

Lt. Velasquez: With your record, I'm surprised you don't!

Acting Commander White: Both of you, shut up!

Lt. Cartel: Can we just continue the briefing?

Lt. Velasquez: Yeah, hurry up... Nicola needs to change her diapers!

Acting Commander White: Yesterday, one of our patrols picked up a V.C.I. 
defector, a Dr. Philip Ramses.  We're conducting an interrogation scan at this 
very moment.

Lt. Velasquez: He was one of the Vulture mind probe specialists I encountered.

Lt. Cartel: One of your old boyfriends, Velasquez?

Acting Commander White: He was also one of the Vultures' top genetic 
scientists and cloning experts.  He takes full responsibility for the 
explosion that took out V.C.I.'s laboratory yesterday.  He's offered to help 
us penetrate and destroy the Vulture headquarters.

Lt. Cartel: What does he want in exchange?

Acting Commander White: He has agreed to help us, if we destroy his clone.

Lt. Cartel: His clone?!??

Acting Commander White: According to Dr. Ramses, Leopold was his first 
'success' in the field of genetic-replicant technology.  Philip is convinced 
that this other clone -- Leopold -- is unstable and out to get him.

Lt. Cartel: Maybe Philip's not the sane scientist that he used to be.

Acting Commander White: Dr. Ramses admitted that before leaving the V.C.I., he 
was injected with a severe dose of telerocil.  That would account for his 
sudden change in behavior.

Lt. Velasquez: Before escaping the Vulture hangar, I stabbed him with a 
chemical syringe...

Lt. Cartel: Your verbal jabs weren't enough?

Acting Commander White: Fifteen radians ago, one of our recon copters received 
a transmission from Leopold.  He's planted a cobalt bomb somewhere in the 
city... with the capacity to flatten every building and obliterate people 
within one hundred square kilometers.

Lt. Cartel: He's bluffing.

Acting Commander White: Philip claims he's not.  The two were secretly working 
on the device for Wolstencroft.  Leopold wants Philip returned to the V.C.I. 
alive within 600 radians.  Otherwise, he'll start the countdown.  Philip 
believes the cobalt bomb is wired to a thirty second timer detonator.

Lt. Velasquez: And you trust him?

Acting Commander White: We've traced Leopold's transmission to a mobile radar 
truck.  We've been using recon helicopters outfitted with cobalt-lerocite 
detectors to locate the bomb.  We think it's with Leopold... in the truck.

Lt. Cartel: Wonderful.  A psychotic clone.

Acting Commander White: Leopold promises he'll start the countdown if any 
attempt is made to destroy the bomb.  Our copters are too easily detectable, 
but a pair of approaching Stilettos won't be seen until they're within 
striking range!  Once you're spotted, however, you'll have only thirty seconds 
to destroy the radar truck before the bomb goes off.  Watch for Vulture skids 
and illegal spice transports... sever have been detected fleeing the city.

Lt. Cartel: Big surprise.

[Mission starts -- once close to Ramses's truck you receive a communication.]

Dr. Leopold Ramses: I see you, Velasquez!  I'm starting the countdown - I'm 
going to blow us all to kingdom come in 30 seconds!

Lt. Velasquez: Why don't you just blow yourself like usual - you're better at 
it!

[Mission ends.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
After the mission

Dispatcher: Looks like you saved the city, Vel.

Lt. Velasquez: As if it's worth something.

Dispatcher: You know, Cartel's black eye really gives her character!

Lt. Velasquez: You want one?

Dispatcher: Not particularly.  You could ask the commander, though... she's 
with Dr. Ramses on level six.

Meanwhile...

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute

General Kreel: Thanks to you, that psychotic scientist nearly destroyed us 
all!  It's time I brought order and control to this city... and it's time you 
paid your price for your incompetence!

Colonel Wolstencroft: No!  Not yet!  I assure you, I just need one more --

[General Kreel shoots Wolstencroft with a laser pistol.  The green ray hits 
Wolstencroft square in the chest, splashing off, as Wolstencroft holds up his 
arms feebly.]

General Kreel: No more failures.

Meanwhile...
At the Vulture laboratory

[A less-featured Wolstencroft sits in a glass container.]

In a cloning tube...
The clone of Wolstencroft is developing...

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIX - THE VULTURE'S NEST
--------------------------------------

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
3 days later

Acting Commander White: Dr. Ramses has provided us with the secret 
deactivation codes to the V.C.I.'s ion and kinetic defense systems.

Lieutenant Koth: We asssume he'sss telling usss the truth?

Acting Commander White: The information has been verified using truth serum.  
Dr. Ramses has also provided us with a security scrambler to prevent the 
V.C.I. from routing power to its defensive array.  The defense screens are 
generated from an orbital satellite, and we now have the means to shut that 
satellite down.

Lt. Striker: Will the Vultures deploy every skid they have?

Acting Commander White: With luck, the Vultures will have very few skids left 
by the time the particle screens are deactivated.  Thanks to Officer 
Velasquez, we have a stolen Vulture II.  When the shields are down, a truck 
containing both this ship and a high-impact bomb will go to the V.C.I.  Once 
there, the timer on the bomb will be started, and the driver will escape in 
the Vulture II... back to the T.D. headquarters.

Lt. Cartel: And who's flying this doomsday device?

Acting Commander White: Lieutenant Velasquez is the only on-deck pilot with 
experience.  She will fly the Vulture II.

Acting Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Five radians later

Acting Commander White: I'm not doing this because I hate your guts.  I just 
can't risk giving the mission to someone who hasn't flown the V-II before.  
We've altered it's registry codes so that it appears brand-new.  With a new 
Vulture ship as your cargo, the Vulture skids shouldn't attack you.  Once you 
get inside the hangar area, start the time, then jump into the Vulture II to 
get the hell out of there.  Once the bomb explodes, though, you'll have to 
watch for the other Vulture skids.  Chances are most of them will figure out 
what we're up to when their hangar vanishes off the map!

Lt. Velasquez: So I'm to take out the hangar, switch ships, and get out of 
there?

Acting Commander White: Yes.  Oh, one other thing, your Vulture II will have 
seriously reduced armor... the truck can't carry it if it's too heavy.  You're 
going to be practically naked out there, Velasquez, so watch it!

Lt. Velasquez: Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
Fifteen radians later

Dispatcher: Hey, Vel.  Just called you to wish you and your molotons the best 
of luck.

Lt. Velasquez: Shut up and leave my molotons out of this.

Dispatcher: Be happy you've got the biggest ones around!  If it makes you feel 
any better, I'll have a k'r'roc-egg omelet waiting when you return...

Lt. Velasquez: I'm all choked up.

Dispatcher: Have a blast, Vel.  May the force be with you.

Lt. Velasquez: Screw you.

Dispatcher: Not enough time, hon.  You're cleared for departure.

[Mission commences.  You drive a slow truck to V.C.I.]

After activating the bomb, Velasquez switches ships...

[You take the Vulture Mark II back to T.D. headquarters.  Mission Ends.]

Colonel Wolstencroft's Office
Vulture Command Institute
Five radians later

General Kreel: Those Sechians are a tenacious breed, but they have much to 
learn...

Dr. Leopold Ramses: General!  The V.C.I. hangar has been destroyed!

General Kreel: A painfully obvious fact.  Where's Commander Mammon?

Dr. Leopold Ramses: He was inside the hangar when it exploded, sir.

General Kreel: How fortunate.  The day has not been a total loss...

Dr. Leopold Ramses: The V.C.I.'s defense screens are down, sir.  An attack is 
imminent.

General Kreel: Send out as many skids as we have left, and ready my shuttle 
for departure!

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
After the mission

Lt. Velasquez: Mission completed.  The hangar is destroyed!

Dispatcher: Congratulations, Vel.  Sounds like you're ready to celebrate.

Lt. Velasquez: Not with you, I'm not.  Just tell Screwdriver to whip up a 
sandripper...

Dispatcher: Not enough time, Vel.  We're launching an attack on the V.C.I. 
right away... most of our pilots have left.  A helicopter is waiting for you 
on the landing pad - we figured you deserved the honor!

Lt. Velasquez: OK... tell Screwdriver to keep my sandripper hot until I get 
back, then.

Dispatcher: Aren't I hot enough for you?

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not into computer dating!

[Mission re-commences -- but two seconds into it, the helicopter explodes]

Three weeks later...

Traffic Department Laboratories
Late one night

[Neither face is on the screen during this dialogue]

Dr. Philip Ramses: How do you feel, Velasquez?

Lt. Velasquez: What happened?

Dr. Philip Ramses: Your helicopter exploded shortly after it took off...

Lt. Velasquez: Just a radian... where am I?  I can't see anything!

[Dr. Philip Ramses face comes on screen.]

Dr. Philip Ramses: I turned off the lights so that I wouldn't damage any of 
your photo-sensitive components... it took two weeks just to order the spare 
parts!

Lt. Velasquez: Spare parts for what?

Dr. Philip Ramses: Why, for you, of course!

[Velasquez's face comes on screen.  The left side of her face, from her 
eyebrow down to below her neck is metallic, with a glowing green eye.]

Lt. Velasquez: What do you mean?  What's happened to me?

Dr. Philip Ramses: Let's leave the explanations to Commander White, shall we?

Meanwhile...

[In space, above the Planet Seche, a spaceship flies by.  It looks like a 
soaring bird of prey]

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

Colonel Kovia: Those pitiful Sechians have no clue what they're up against.

General Kreel: I want you to dispatch a lander class destroyer to Vulthaven.

Colonel Kovia: Why not simply pulverize the entire city from orbit?

General Kreel: Discretion, Colonel.  The overlord wants a slave world, not an 
empty sandbox.  We'll make an example of Vulthaven, even if that means its 
destruction.

Colonel Kovia: I'll dispatch the lander immediately, sir.

General Kreel: First we'll crush their spirits...

Colonel Kovia: But when we've squeezed every last resource from this new slave 
planet, what then?

General Kreel: Then we'll crush their bones.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XX - MEAN MACHINE
--------------------------------------

Acting Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
45 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: I want to know what's going on here!  What have you done to me?

Acting Commander White: You were nearly killed in a crash, Velasquez.  It's a 
miracle that you survived at all.

Dr. Philip Ramses: They found pieces of you all over the roof.  We saved what 
we could.

Lt. Velasquez: How long have I been... like this?

Acting Commander White: Three weeks... you went berserk once --

Dr. Philip Ramses: -- so we had to erase your programming and start again.  It 
was a... minor glitch.

Lt. Velasquez: My programming?  I'm not a bloody computer!

Dr. Philip Ramses: No, not entirely.  Just your left side.

Acting Commander White: To be hones, I'm more worried about your right side.  
If you're able, report to my office in 45 radians.

Lt. Velasquez: You're both so comforting.

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Later...

Screwdriver: Looks like we share even more common ground.  Maybe we can... you 
know... interface sometime.

Lt. Velasquez: Is that more robot humor, or a pass?

Screwdriver: I've never had much success at either.  Care for a Selarian 
Sunrise?

Lt. Velasquez: I've lost my taste.  Dr. Ramses has me on a diet of protein 
syrup.  He says it's for internal lubrication.

Screwdriver: Sounds healthy.  A lot has changed around here since you... 
well...

Lt. Velasquez: Exploded on the hangar roof?  So I've heard.  Unfortunately, 
none of the k'r'roc's around here will say anything!  They're all terrified of 
me!

Screwdriver: That's nothing new.

Lt. Velasquez: I think someone screwed with my helicopter!

Screwdriver: You know that for a fact?

Lt. Velasquez: I sure didn't blow up my chopper on purpose!

Screwdriver: Who would want to kill you?

Lt. Velasquez: Just about everybody on the planet, I guess.

Screwdriver: That's a lot of people.

Lt. Velasquez: I guess I'd start with that k'clow Cartel...

Screwdriver: Nicola Cartel?  Haven't they told you?

Acting Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Two radians later

Acting Commander White: Nicola's dead, Velasquez.  It was an accident.

Lt. Velasquez: What sort of accident?

Acting Commander White: Well, to put it bluntly, you twisted her head off.

Lt. Velasquez: I did what?!?

Acting Commander White: When Dr. Ramses first awakened you, you attacked him.  
Nicola was in the lab at the time.  When she tried to pull you off the doctor, 
you turned on her.  Dr. Ramses couldn't deactivate you in time.

Lt. Velasquez: Deactivate me?!?  I'm not some bloody machine!

Acting Commander White: No-one blames you for what happened.  You had 
absolutely no way to control yourself.

Lt. Velasquez: I didn't kill my partner!!

T.D. Laboratory
A short while later...

Dr. Philip Ramses: Sure you did.  Made quite a mess, in fact.  Naturally, you 
wouldn't remember that.  I wiped your memory of the whole experience.  Anyway, 
Commander White said you would handle the news fairly well.  After all, Nicola 
wasn't exactly a friend!

Lt. Velasquez: What else did I do?  What else have you erased?!?

Dr. Philip Ramses: Nothing else of importance, really.

Lt. Velasquez: Who the hell decided what was important?!?  You?!?  Leave my 
mind alone!

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
Next day

Lt. Velasquez: I don't think I can handle this!  I don't even know if I 
remember how to fly!

Dispatcher: Just take it easy, Vel.  We really need you on this one.  All our 
other pilots have been either fried or injured... and the city is at stake 
again.

Lt. Velasquez: My name isn't Vel!  What the hell is going on?

Dispatcher: A Vulture lander has been attacking from the north... this is one 
of those great big ships they use for space-station kills!  Make sure to watch 
for the cannons mounted under the ship - they fire shots that can take out 
small asteroids, so you don't really want to get in their way.  Analysis of 
this thing's armor shows that only the head of the ship will be vulnerable to 
cannon fire... shoot that until the damn thing starts going up in smoke.  The 
problem with this bugger is that it's already withstood all that we've thrown 
at it, including all of our best pilots... except you, of course.  It has been 
carefully destroying all of the city's important mines outside the city, and 
its final destination seems to be the city's power plant to the south... if it 
get there and blows that up, the whole city is toast!  Don't let that happen, 
comprendez?

Lt. Velasquez: Understood.  Just tell me, Carl -- is this just a nightmare?  

Dispatcher: Welcome to reality, hon.  Keep your head on straight, and you'll 
do fine.  Give those Vultures your famous bird salute!

[Mission commences.]

T.D. Laboratory
After mission

Dr. Philip Ramses: Glad to see you made it back in one piece.  After your 
malfunction ten days ago, I thought you might deliberately try to destroy 
yourself.

Lt. Velasquez: I kill Vultures, Doctor.  You, maybe.  Me, not bloody likely.

Dr. Philip Ramses: I'm not a Vulture, Lieutenant.  I regret that Wolstencroft 
made me use the mind probe on you, but I think I've more than paid the price 
for allying myself with him.

Lt. Velasquez: And the point of taking off my arms?

Dr. Philip Ramses: Heightens my sense of security.  I don't wish to be 
strangled a second time!

Acting Commander White's office
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Acting Commander White: Aren't you supposed to be with Dr. Ramses?

Lt. Velasquez: I want answers.  I want to know who sabotaged my recon 
helicopter and how.

Acting Commander White: As far as I'm concerned, the explosion was accidental.

Lt. Velasquez: Tell me the cause!

Acting Commander White: A moloton particle flux in the weapon systems.  The 
helicopter was probably loaded with a defective moloton missile.

Lt. Velasquez: Defective?  You mean some shithead tampered with it!

Acting Commander White: Velasquez --

Lt. Velasquez: And the ion disturbances in Satair's office... the ones left 
behind from his abduction?

Acting Commander White: The result of a molecular dispersion beam.  Ramses 
brought a molecular converter with him from the V.C.I.  We think Amiel used a 
similar device to demolecularize both you and Satair.

Lt. Velasquez: Amiel never left T.D. headquarters!  Someone had to deliver the 
converter to Vulture command!

Acting Commander White: Security matters are my concern, Velasquez, not yours!

Lt. Velasquez: I'm making them my concern!

Acting Commander White: Listen, Velasquez!  You're lucky to be alive!

Lt. Velasquez: You call this being alive?!?

Acting Commander White: When Dr. Ramses said he could reconstruct you, I was 
doubtful!  But I authorized the operation because Dr. Ramses was convinced he 
could give us our first bio-mechanical T.D. officer... an officer who could be 
programmed to kill Vultures!  A loyal T.D. enforcer!  But you have become 
unstable!

Lt. Velasquez: I have good reason to be!  You turned me into this!

Acting Commander White: But look at you!  You're more capable now than you 
ever were before!  With a  few modifications, you'll become one of our best 
weapons in the fight against Vulturnus!

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not sure I want to be.

Acting Commander White: This was a mistake.  We should've deactivated you 
after the first malfunction.

Lt. Velasquez: Deactivated me?!?  I'm not a machine, Doctor!  No one 
deactivates me!

Acting Commander White: What I meant to say was --

Lt. Velasquez: You've said enough already!

T.D. Laboratory
Later...

Acting Commander White: The cyborg is becoming a threat... to herself and this 
department.

Dr. Philip Ramses: I can introduce a new personality matrix into her existing 
circuitry.  Could be risky... I tried a similar procedure back at the V.C.I. 
and it failed.

Acting Commander White: If it doesn't work, we may be forced to shut her down 
permanently.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Then perhaps what she really needs is to feel whole again!

Quarters of Lt. Velasquez
That evening

Lt. Velasquez: Whoever you are, screw off!  I'm not in the mood for 
conversation!

Unknown (uses yellow font): I'm not here to converse, Velasquez.  I heard you 
were looking for the one who trashed your chopper.

Lt. Velasquez: Who the hell are you?

Unknown (uses yellow font):  Your maker, cyborg.  I blew up your chopper... 
now I finish the job properly!  Die, metalface!

[In Velasquez's headquarters, a shadowed figure shoots a red laser at 
Velasquez's shadowed figure.  It splashes against her torso which begins to 
disintegrate from the back.]

Continued in episode 2...

--------------------------------------
EPISODE BETA
--------------------------------------

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

General Kreel: Glasya, my love, I'm sending you to the surface with a very 
important mission.

Captain Glasya: I'm yours to command, Father.

General Kreel: The city of Vulthaven is on the verge of destruction.  Our 
attempts to take control of the city have failed.

Captain Glasya: Colonel Kovia wants to send another detachment of skids to 
destroy the Traffic Department...

General Kreel: The Traffic Department in Vulthaven is the least of our 
concerns.  The city is ravaged by vigilantes and spice addicts.  It's up to us 
to crush them all, at once, in an instant.  The Traffic Department is reduced 
to quelling an uprising from their own people!

Captain Glasya: A warning to the other cities that defy us!

General Kreel: That is why I summoned you.  There are ripples of dissent 
spreading throughout the city of Vultigard.  A new Traffic Department has 
emerged to challenge the Vulture domination.

Captain Glasya: Vultigard...

General Kreel: The director is ill-equipped to handle a potential threat.  I 
want you to take command of the patrols and destroy this new Traffic 
Department before it becomes... annoying.

Captain Glasya: Your wish is my command.

General Kreel: Such a fragile world... hardly worth the effort to destroy...

--------------------------------------
MISSION I - NEVER SAY DIE
--------------------------------------

T.D. Laboratory
Later...

Commander White: Is she alive?

Dr. Philip Ramses: The ion blast destroyed most of her robotic components, but 
those are designed for easy replacement.  The organic ones are harder to fix.

Commander White: She looks okay to me.

Dr. Philip Ramses: I've deactivated her reflex response matrix so she doesn't 
beat the shit out of us.  A few of her internal organs were damaged beyond 
repair.  I had to replace her heart with a cloned organ.

Commander White: I don't think she had to begin with.  How's her mental 
capacity?

Dr. Philip Ramses: There was residual ionization in her cerebral cortex.  Her 
new personality matrix was erased, but I'm using reconstructive CNA sequences 
to help repair the ion damage.

Commander White: Is she functional?

Dr. Philip Ramses: She'll be as good as new in no time.

Commander White: Good, because I want to know who did this to her.

Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Two days later

Lt. Velasquez: Kendrick

Commander White: You can't be sure it was him --

Lt. Velasquez: It was Kendrick.  I recognized the bastard's voice... not to 
mention his foul breath.

Commander White: I can't believe a fellow officer would -- 

Lt. Velasquez: That sandsquid.

Commander White: Velasquez, until we know for sure, I think it's in your best 
interest to --

Lt. Velasquez: Stay here?  Spare me the motherly affection, Commander.  Just 
tell me where the hell he is... before I make your life a living hell.

Commander White: Let me finish, for once!  Philip is concerned that you may be 
unstable, and I think that concern is justified.  Cyborg technology is still 
in the preliminary stages of development and, well, the technology has proven 
less than reliable.

Lt. Velasquez: If you're worried about me, Commander, you should be!  And as 
for Philip, I'll find some way to thank him for all the wonderful work he's 
done!  In the meantime, I've got a favor to return.

Commander White: Until Dr. Ramses performs additional tests --

Lt. Velasquez: Dr. Ramses couldn't perform a lobotomy.

Commander White: This city's on the verge of collapse, the street gangs are 
out of control, and half my T.D. pilots are confined to medbeds... the last 
thing I need right now is a psychotic cyborg skimming the streets, vaping 
innocent T.D. officers!

Lt. Velasquez: So, Kendrick's out on patrol --

Commander White: No, Velasquez.  You are not going out there!

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Dispatcher: Well, if it isn't RoboVel!  How are you holding together?

Lt. Velasquez: With screws, shithead.  Now clear me -- before I punch a hole 
through that monitor and wring your scrawny neck!

Dispatcher: Okay, okay!  Don't fry your circuits!

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Lt. Kendrick: You're still alive?!?  I thought you were dead!!!

Lt. Velasquez: You can't kill your worst nightmare, r'ox-for-brains!

Lt. Kendrick: I always hated you, Velasquez.  Thanks to you, I was pulled off 
every major engagement... cleaning toilets while you earned all the glory!  
You don't deserve to be a T.D. officer!  This time, I'll blow you to bits!

Lt. Velasquez: You can just blow me!

[Mission ends.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
Afterwards

Dispatcher: You're getting rusty, Vel.  Looks like you could use a lube job...

Lt. Velasquez: In your dreams, monitor-mouth.

Dispatcher: I guess Kendrick didn't have the ions after all.

Lt. Velasquez: You're one to talk.

[Abandoned V.C.I. Bunker -- a big gray cave with some supporting girders on 
top, with flood lights shining down.]

Abandoned V.C.I. bunker
Later that night...

Bram Wolstencroft (his face is a little asymmetrical and he has either boils 
or water droplets on his skin):  Ahhhh... a smarmy domicile this is.  Directum 
pefectus.  What urbanal sleems we shall constrive in this sweetest lome of 
lomes!

--------------------------------------
MISSION II - FRAGMENTS
--------------------------------------

Quarters of Lt. Velasquez
Next day

Kylie Kilailie: A vigilante group calling itself the Serpents attacked an ion 
depot within neutral territory today, triggering what could be the largest, 
most violent gang war in the planet's history.  
Jarock, leader of the rival Scorpion gang, claimed the ion depot was a 
Scorpion stronghold and threatened to retaliate by striking deep into Serpent 
territory.  Two days ago, Scorpion skids ionized a broadcast antenna believed 
to be a Serpent relay outpost.
Escalations between the two vigilante groups are mounting as both factions 
compete for spice control in the city.  The streets are rampant with vigilante 
skids, and the Traffic Department has been unable to keep the streets clear 
of --

Lt. Velasquez: Bitch.

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
Later

Commander White: The Vultures are no longer our primary concern.  The streets 
are becoming a battleground for the Serpents and Scorpions, and it's our job 
to eliminate these vigilante factions.

Lt. Koth: Perhapsss we should sssever their ssspice shipmentsss.  Let'sss get 
them where it hurtsss.

Commander White: That won't end the hostilities.  Your assignment is to patrol 
the streets and take out any vigilantes you encounter.  We know the Scorpions 
are flying stolen Vulture skids, and we believe the Serpents have some 
Stingrays -- probably from the wreckage of lost T.D. vehicles.

Lt. Velasquez: I didn't join the Traffic Department to ionize spice addicts in 
Stingrays!

Commander White: The Vultures have left our city in fragments, Velasquez.  
Your job is to keep the streets safe... from any threat.

Lt. Velasquez: Meanwhile the Vultures circle above us... picking at our world 
like the k'r'roc-shit, desert-digging, sandslime vape-mining vermin they 
really are!

Commander White: No one said you had to like it.

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
25 radians later

Dispatcher: We've taken our Stingrays out of service, Vel, so feel free to 
destroy any you encounter.

Lt. Velasquez: Never like the Stingray much anyway.

Dispatcher: Yeah, well, try not to ionize your partners.  They're the ones 
flying Stilettos.

Lt. Velasquez: I need partners like you need another asshole.

Dispatcher: Nice of you to say so, but what I really need is a robotic 
concubine.

Lt. Velasquez: Why?  Can't get a real one?

Dispatcher: I prefer a woman I can screw.

Lt. Velasquez: Stick with screwing yourself - you've had enough practice!

[Mission commences.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
Afterwards

Dispatcher: Good work, Vel.  Looks like you made spare parts out of those 
vigilantes.

Lt. Velasquez: You should know all about spare parts.

Dispatcher: This from the queen of batteries.  Assault and batteries, that is.

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
T.D. Underground Complex
Later

Screwdriver: Are you sure I can't entice you into trying a Sirfillian Tarmilk?

Lt. Velasquez: What's the point?  I can't taste anything!

Screwdriver: I've seen you sneaking the occasional Selarian Sandripper... 
Besides, this is not simply a matter of taste, Velasquez.  The tarmilk is also 
known for its wonderful euphoric effects!

Lt. Velasquez: As if you would know!  Just give me the protein syrup.  Hold 
the ice.

Screwdriver: Just like the doctor ordered.  But from one machine to another, 
can I offer you a piece of advice?

Lt. Velasquez: I'm only half machine.

Screwdriver: Exactly.  I'm not saying that's bad... but instead of acting like 
someone who's half machine, maybe you should start acting like someone who's 
half organic.

Lt. Velasquez: Go stick your foot in a power surge coupling.

Screwdriver: Hey, don't knock it till you try it!

T.D. shooting range
Next evening

Dispatcher: Run out of living targets to shoot?

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not in the mood.

Dispatcher: Let me guess.  You've got a headache.

Lt. Velasquez: My visual aiming system isn't aligned properly!  I keep missing 
the damn target!

Dispatcher: Sure.  I've heard that one before!

Lt. Velasquez: You got something to say before I slap that smile off your face?

Dispatcher: Commander White wants you up on deck, pronto.

Lt. Velasquez: Tell Commander White she can wait.
Yes! Blew that sucker's balls off!

Dispatcher: Ouch!  Glad that wasn't me!

Lt. Velasquez: I just imagined it was.

--------------------------------------
MISSION III - TROUBLESHOOTING
--------------------------------------

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
5 radians later

Commander White: No time for an official briefing, Velasquez.  Recon 
helicopters confirm that a televid reporter and her crew have been caught in 
Serpent territory.  Your job is to help them get out... alive.

Lt. Velasquez: Who's the reporter?

Commander White: If I told you, you probably wouldn't rescue her.

Lt. Velasquez: It's that Kylie Kan-I-Have-Sex-With-You Kilailie, isn't it?

Commander White: Velasquez...

Lt. Velasquez: She's done nothing but slam our department from day one!  I'd 
sell my circuits to see Kilailie get killed!

Commander White: Everyone knows she's a bitch, Velasquez, but she's also 
married to one of our best contacts in the Vulture media net.  Channel 3's 
vice-president, in fact.

Lt. Velasquez: Figures.

Commander White: It's a night mission, so you'll need your infrared sensors.

Lt. Velasquez: Anything else?

Commander White: Yes.  Lose the attitude.

Lt. Velasquez: Only if you lose your virginity.

[Mission starts and ends]

Dispatcher: Well done, Vel.  You got Kilailie back in time for the 26 o'clock 
news!

Lt. Velasquez: Doesn't this city have enough bad news already?

Dispatcher: As a matter of fact, she wants to do a live interview with you.

Lt. Velasquez: I've only got two words for that woman...

Dispatcher: Not available?

Abandoned V.C.I. bunker
Later that night...

Bram Wolstencroft: Whaddabout the secrutiny systems?

B.O.B.: The security systems?

Bram Wolstencroft: That's blot I said.

B.O.B.: None of the security systems are operational.

Bram Wolstencroft: Then what are you hoveling around here for?!  Replair them!

B.O.B.: The system's array has been badly damaged... but I can complete the 
necessary repairs in 52 hours.

Bram Wolstencroft: Fluck the secrutiny systems, then.  The communion system 
bakes top priorigle.  I want communions on-line... and I wan-tit now!

B.O.B.: You mean... communications?

Bram Wolstencroft: That's what I sled, you cylin-dricular idiot!

B.O.B.: I'll g-g-get right to it, Mr. Wolstencroft.

Bram Wolstencroft: I also want a terminimal interface with the Vulture remdial 
netwart.  And I want televids, lots uvum.  Everywhere.  And B.O.B., call me 
Bram... Wolstenfrog is so formal.

B.O.B.:Y-y-yes sir.  I'll begin repairs to the communication and n-network 
interface systems immediately.

Bram Wolstencroft: And the televids.  Don't forget the televids!

B.O.B.: Yes sir.  Televids.  R-r-right away sir.

Bram Wolstencroft: It's so hard to fling good kelp these days.

--------------------------------------
MISSION IV - THE SPICE OF LIFE
--------------------------------------

T.D. Laboratory
Next day...

Dr. Philip Ramses: You say the ocular ion tracer functioned adequately?  
That's good.  I suppose I can install a more permanent version in your 
artificial optic sensor.

Lt. Velasquez: An eye, doctor.  It's called an eye!

Dr. Philip Ramses: Artificial optic sensor is more accurate, but I can live 
with eye.

Lt. Velasquez: Lucky for you.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Any more headaches?

Lt. Velasquez: Other than Commander White?  Yes.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Big ones?

Lt. Velasquez: About the size of a city grid.  Nothing I can't handle.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Probably a symptom of matrix deterioration in your cerebral 
cortex.  Just take two aspirin and call me in the morning!

Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
Two days later

Commander White: The sentinel relay station in delta grid has detected an 
unscheduled convoy of transport trucks nearing the city perimeter.  My guess 
is someone's trying to smuggle contraband into Vulthaven undetected.

Lt. Velasquez: Your deductive skills astound me.  I assume these trucks aren't 
carrying T.D. fan mail...

Commander White: A spice convoy, in all likelihood.

Lt. Velasquez: I'm surprised those dickheads in delta grid picked it up.  How 
many trucks?

Commander White: Three.

Lt. Velasquez: Any partners?

Commander White: Not unless you want one.

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
15 radians later

Dispatcher: Recon copters have spotted Scorpions in Vulture skids.  Looks like 
the convoy's theirs, Vel.

Lt. Velasquez: Not for long.

Dispatcher: Watch for Serpents in Stingrays... they'll want a piece of the 
action.  Oh, and try not to blow a fuse.

Lt. Velasquez: You can blow my middle finger!

Dispatcher: Oh, I just love a woman with a spark!

[Mission commences.]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Dispatcher: Good work, Vel.  Relay station says that it's snowing spice out 
their way.  Looks like you'll make the evening news!

Lt. Velasquez: You will too if you don't shut up!

[The city sewers -- a dark stone tunnel with a single flood lamp illuminates 
the sewers in sickly green.]

In the city sewers
A few radians later...

Jarock: Where the hell is my spice?

Bryll: I almost had it, Jarock, I swear!  We were this close!  Then this damn 
T.D. officer shows up outta nowhere and blasts the hell out of all three 
trucks!

Jarock: You stupid sandslug!  It took me three months to arrange that 
shipment!  Three months!

Bryll: Serpents were all over the city!  There must've been twenty of them!  
What the hell was I supposed to do?!

Jarock: Sareth doesn't have twenty skids, you asshole!  Admit it!  You let 
some T.D. slimewad ruin everything!  I oughta vape you right here!  But you're 
not even worth the ions!  Now get outta my face!  I've seen enough screw-ups 
for one night!

Commander White's Office
Traffic Department Headquarters
That evening

Commander White: We really hit the vigilantes hard today, Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: I didn't see you vaping vigilante skids!  The only thing you 
hit hard was the hospital floor when the doctor dropped you!

Commander White: In any case, the vigilantes still control the gamma and delta 
grids.  Unfortunately, we can't take out enough of them to keep the streets 
clear.  Whenever they spot a T.D. skid, they take their fight elsewhere.

Lt. Velasquez: The Scorpions and Serpents are k'r'roc-shit.  Cowards only 
fight cowards.

Commander White: Exactly.  That's why I need you to get on the inside.  I want 
you to infiltrate one gang... and take them both out.  And I don't mean to 
dinner...

Lt. Velasquez: I'm an obliterator, not an infiltrator.

Commander White: You're also violent, irreverent and virtually unstoppable... 
which still make you the best one for the mission.

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
T.D. Underground Complex
Later

Screwdriver: One protein syrup, no ice?

Lt. Velasquez: Better give me a Selarian Sandripper.

Screwdriver: But you have no taste buds!

Lt. Velasquez: I'll be gone for a while.  I want something I can pretend to 
enjoy.

Screwdriver: I'm flattered.  So... Commander White finally gave you the boot?

Lt. Velasquez: The only thing she ever gives me are migraines.

Screwdriver: Maybe you should see Dr. Ramses about those headaches.  You look 
worse than a Vulture servo-droid on cheap spice.

Lt. Velasquez: Nothing I can't handle.

Screwdriver: But I'm sure Dr. Ramses could -- 

Lt. Velasquez: -- Dr. Ramses can bite my biomatrix!  He's the bastard who did 
this to me!

Screwdriver: Forget I mentioned him.  Drink your drink, Velasquez, before it 
gets cold.

Abandoned V.C.I. bunker
The next day...

Bram Wolstencroft: Actigrate the vid monocle.  I want to walk the news.

B.O.B.: Yes sir.  Activating the vid monitor.

Kylie Kilailie: Although the Traffic Department denies allowing vigilantes to 
claim sections of the city, its effort to rid Vulthaven of the vigilante 
menace has proven unsuccessful.  However, Lieutenant Mata Velasquez, credited 
with destroying the V.C.I. and plunging the city into lawless gang-breeded 
violence, recently destroyed a Vulture spice shipment diverted to the city by 
anti-Vulture subversives.  The Vultures will undoubtedly retaliate for the 
destruction of the spice shipm -- 

Bram Wolstencroft: What crap is this?  What's wrung with the televart?

B.O.B.: I'll try redirecting power through the main power array.

Bram Wolstencroft: It's all that botch's faulk!  I'll krill that Velasquez if 
it's the last throng I drew!

B.O.B.: With luck, maybe the vigilantes will get her!

Bram Wolstencroft: The Scorpions and Serpents are commended by idioms!  
They'll never elimerate Velasquez!  What they bleed is gold leadership... 
someone like me.  I want their leaguers brought here... remedially!

B.O.B.: The communication system is down.  Repairs should take about two hours.

Bram Wolstencroft: I want communions now!

B.O.B.: Let me try an interface bypass through the security system back-ups.  
That should get things running.
Oops.

Bram Wolstencroft: I'm lot amused...

--------------------------------------
MISSION V - INSINUATIONS
--------------------------------------

In the city sewers
A few radians later...

Jarock: You expect us to believe you?  A former T.D. officer?

Lt. Velasquez: I don't give a shit what you believe.  I'm not the damned tooth 
fairy!  I'm here to annihilate Serpents.  If you don't want my help, I'll take 
my brand of violence elsewhere.

Jarock: The last thing I need is a metal-headed mercenary.

Lt. Velasquez: And I didn't come here for a damn job interview!

Jarock: If you're half as good as you say you are --

Lt. Velasquez: I'm twice as good as the best you've got!

Jarock: I'm the best I've got.

Lt. Velasquez: No wonder the Serpents have this city coiled.  You 
moloton-brained morons are second rate vape-heads flying piece-of-shit Vulture 
skids!

Jarock: Think you can change all that!

Lt. Velasquez: Someone needs to change your dirty diapers.

Jarock: And what about your Traffic Department?

Lt. Velasquez: The Traffic Department is nothing but a bunch of blind-flyin' 
boners with badges and the IQ's of sand fossils.  I've killed more than one 
officer who's gotten in my way...

Jarock: You have many enemies?

Lt. Velasquez: None of consequence.

Jarock: Want to make a few more?

Lt. Velasquez: It's a slow month.

Jarock: Word on the street is the Serpents are evacuating their spice depot in 
gamma grid.  That means they'll be using spice transports.  Can you fly a 
Vulture I?

Lt. Velasquez: Does shit stink?

[Mission commences.  Near the start, you receive a communication.]

Jarock: Velasquez, this mission should be really easy, but I've assigned Argus 
to fly cover for you.  Just in case.

Lt. Velasquez: Your pilots couldn't cover a manhole!

In the city sewers
Afterwards...

Bryll: Don't get too cozy down here, Velasquez.  We don't need no psycho-steel 
bitch!

Lt. Velasquez: What you need is a brain, ratbreath.

Bryll: The name's Bryll.  Rhymes with kill.

Lt. Velasquez: And swill.

Bryll: You think you're hot shit, don't you?

Lt. Velasquez: You're the only shit around here, Bryll.

Bryll: Ha ha, very funny.  But Jarock knows you're just another T.D. scum.  
When he gives the order, I'm gonna kick your stainless steel butt!

Lt. Velasquez: The only thing you'll be kicking is a stainless steel bucket.

Abandoned V.C.I. bunker
That night...

Bram Wolstencroft: We have mush to disgust, genitalmen.

Sareth: I have nothing to sssay to that Ssscorpion ssscum!

Jarock: Scum?!  Tell that fangless fathead he better shut his big trap before 
I vape another one of his supply depots!

Sareth: You pincsssered pieccce of shit!  You couldn't vape a fruitssstand!

Jarock: Just watch me, you slithering slimy slurping spitting slimewad!

Bram Wolstencroft: Genitalmen, please.  This blistering is gletting us 
nowhere.  There's plentitude of appletunity for all of us.

Jarock: Easy for you to say.

Sareth: What the hell'sss wrong with your voiccce?  And your faccce?

Bram Wolstencroft: Blaze it on the Traflick Deplorment.  They flucked with the 
cloning taxonomy.  Nevelmind that.  We've got begger flush to fly.  What we 
weed now is an erection!

Jarock: Excuse me?

Bram Wolstencroft: Allow my grobot blob to expland.

B.O.B.: Mr. Wolstencroft... Bram... wants to arrange a neutral meeting with 
the two of you... here, in subterrainea... to discuss the formation of a new 
criminal empire.

Sareth: An empire?  And who controlsss thisssss... empire?

Bram Wolstencroft: Lie, me, of clourse.

Jarock: No chance, fat ass.  I don't take orders from anyone but myself!

Sareth: Nor do I.

B.O.B.: Mr. Wolstencroft is the former director of the V.C.I. at Vulthaven.  
He has access overrides for all the city's major systems and can shut down 
entire city grids in a stroke.  He has many friends.

Bram Wolstencroft: I can break life mizribble for booth of you, or I can break 
life easel as apple rye.

B.O.B.: Each of you will be given unlimited access to Vulture spice production 
facilities... as well as transport services and skids by the hundreds!  We can 
even provide 50 free hours of media time on channel nine!

Bram Wolstencroft: Think of it as a boner.

Sareth: What do you want from usss?

B.O.B.: Director Wolstencroft wants order and control on the streets.  He 
needs someone with skids and firepower to take out the Traffic Department... 
and any Vultures in the way.

Sareth: With full sssecurity clearanccce, that should be easssy.

Jarock: I have a new weapon that could make the fight a lot easier.  I will 
attend the meeting... under certain conditions.

Sareth: As will I.

B.O.B.: Director Wolstencroft asks that we keep the meeting civilized.  Deploy 
all the skids you like, but come with only one bodyguard.

Bram Wolstencroft: To avoid any unwarted hospitalities.

In the city sewers
Afterwards...

Jarock: Looks like there may be a place for you in my organization after all.

Lt. Velasquez: Don't delude yourself, ion-brain.  Your gang's about as 
organized as a pack of screwed-up firerats, and I'm not some idiot like Bryll 
who has a zero-g cavity where his brain should be!

Jarock: I can see that, but things are changing fast.  In fact, I'm cutting a 
deal with the snakes and some blubbery fat guy.  If all goes well, we'll have 
all the spice we need... and total security access to the city.

Lt. Velasquez: Spice is shit, Jarock.  I get my rush vaping spiced-up Serpent 
slime bags who can't fly Stingrays to save their worthless lives!  As for 
security access, that won't get you commercial time on channel 3!

Jarock: Then name your price.

Lt. Velasquez: I doubt you could afford it.

Jarock: Try me, cyborg.  If this deal dies, I may need someone like you nearby 
to vape 'em both... Sareth and Wolstencroft.

Lt. Velasquez: Wolstencroft?  He's alive?

Jarock: Your price, cyborg.  Name it.

In the city sewers
Jarock's quarters
That night

Lt. Velasquez: I've had better rides on merry-go-rounds.

--------------------------------------
MISSION VI - SOMEONE TO KEEP AN ION
--------------------------------------

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

General Kreel: You've launched a pre-emptive strike against Seche without my 
approval?

Colonel Kovia: I've sent a detachment of skids to restore order in the city of 
Vulthaven --

General Kreel: -- without my approval.

Colonel Kovia: I received orders from General Talon.

General Kreel: I have been placed in charge of this world, not General Talon!

Colonel Kovia: General Talon speaks on behalf of the overlord.

General Kreel: General Talon speaks on behalf of no one but himself!

Colonel Kovia: Do you want me to recall the detachment?

General Kreel: No.

Colonel Kovia: Our relay satellite has confirmed that someone is using level 
one access codes to override network security in the city.  We've identified 
the codes as Bram Wolstencroft's.

General Kreel: Wolstencroft is dead.  Someone must've acquired his access 
matrix.

Colonel Kovia: Whoever they are, they won't be alive long.  We've tracked the 
security override transmissions to their source -- an abandoned bunker in the 
city's beta grid.
What are your orders?

General Kreel: Contact your skids, Commander.

Colonel Kovia: Yes, General.

[A very green televid screen with someone's reflection.  Honestly, it looks 
like someone badly photoshopped a developer's webcam photo.]

Over a secret vidcom channel
Later...

Commander White: So Wolstencroft is still alive, then.

Lt. Velasquez: Not for long.  The gang leaders are seeing him tonight at an 
abandoned military bunker.  I'll be along for the ride...

Commander White: Our relay stations have detected several Vulture IIs 
approaching the city from the west sandpits.  Wolstencroft may have called for 
reinforcements...

Lt. Velasquez: Treacherous bastard!  First I'll trash those Vultures.  Then 
I'll vape that fat butthead and blow his Vulture bunker to bits!

Commander White: If you can get both gangs inside, you could kill three 
k'r'rocs with one stone.

Lt. Velasquez: Just keep the other T.D. officers out of my sights, Commander.

Commander White: Understood.

In the city sewers
5 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: Think you can fly that thing without slamming into me?

Jarock: Don't worry.  I'll get there.  Word is Sareth's already at the bunker. 
You can bet that slithering bastard didn't go alone, so watch out for 
Stingrays!

Lt. Velasquez: You watch for Stingrays!  I've got my eyes on the Vulture II's!

Jarock: Do as I say, woman!

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not your sex slave, Jarock.  Boss me and I'll plug your 
pecker into a power socket.

[Mission commences.]

Abandoned V.C.I. bunker
Afterwards...

Jarock: By the way, this morning was incredible.

Lt. Velasquez: This is not the time or place, Jarock.

Jarock: No, really.  I've never met a woman with such... stamina.

Lt. Velasquez: And you never will again.

Jarock: So... was I any good?  Oh, here comes the elevator.

Lt. Velasquez: Not now, I've got a headache.

Jarock: Aren't I the best ride you've ever had?

Lt. Velasquez: Well, I wouldn't go that far.

Jarock: Tell me, Velasquez, how did I rate?

Lt. Velasquez: Here's the elevator.  Let's just say you weren't worth the 
price of admission.

B.O.B.: Greetings.  I am B.O.B., which is short for bunker operations robot.  
Say, you're a fine piece of electronics!

Lt. Velasquez: Just take us to Wolstencroft, you hovering half-wit!

B.O.B.: Sure th-thing.  B-b-bram is w-w-aiting for you on s-s-sublevel six.

Lt. Velasquez: Then what are we waiting for?  Take us down there, you stupid 
stuttering circuit-brained simpleton!

--------------------------------------
MISSION VII - REMAINDER ZERO
--------------------------------------

Abandoned V.C.I. bunker
Later...

Sareth: I'm sssurprisssed you had the gutsss to show.

Jarock: I'm surprised you didn't bring more of your lizards.

Sareth: I brought Wrath.  He'sss all I need.  Obviousssly, you have a henchman 
of your own...

Jarock: Obviously.

Sareth: Let'sss dissspenssse with the pleasssantriesss, Jarock... and get down 
to busssinesss.  Wolssstencroft hasss a very generousss proprossal to make.

Bram Wolstencroft: Inbleed I do.  This gruly is a momentary ovulation.

Lt. Velasquez: That's 'momentous occasion', you blubber-bodied bastard.

Bram Wolstencroft: Cultz blr hegoyalk!

Sareth: Wrath!  Erassse them both!

[Lt. Velasquez shoots Wolstencroft with a blue laser pistol.]

Lt. Velasquez: How 'bout it, B.O.B.... want your sensors scrambled -- 
permanently?

B.O.B.: He mm-made me do it!  I d-d-didn't want any p-p-part of it!  Please 
don't ionize m-m-me!

Lt. Velasquez: Stop shaking in your bolts!  I'm not gonna vape you!

B.O.B.: You're not?

Lt. Velasquez: No.  I've got a soft spot for machines.  Besides, I could 
always use the spare parts.

B.O.B.: That's n-n-not v-v-very f-f-funny!

Lt. Velasquez: Let's get out of here - I can hear the bunker being shot at 
already.

B.O.B.: We're being attacked?!

Lt. Velasquez: Get in the elevator, bolt-bucket!

[An elevator car]

In the elevator

Lt. Velasquez: Looks like the Vultures weren't on Wolstencroft's side after 
all.

B.O.B.: Well, I could've told you that!

Lt. Velasquez: And I could've left your scattered parts all over 
Wolstencroft's lap!

B.O.B.: Point taken.  What's going on up there?  I hope you have a skid!

Lt. Velasquez: So do I.

[Mission commences.  You must take a Stingray back to Traffic Department 
Headquarters]

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters
5 radians later

Dispatcher: Listen, Vel.  I don't mind you showin' up here occasionally, but 
you've got to stop bringin' home your boyfriends!

Lt. Velasquez: The name's not Vel, squidface.  And B.O.B.'s not my boyfriend, 
understood?

Dispatcher: Bob?  You're already on a first name basis?

Lt. Velasquez: B.O.B. stands for Bunker Operations Robot, you numbnuts!

Dispatcher: Did you say Bunkbed Operations Robot?

Lt. Velasquez: You're so close to getting your lights punched out.

Dispatcher: Guess I don't have robot magnetism.

Lt. Velasquez: Can't argue with that.  About the only thing you attract is 
flies.

Commander White's office
Traffic Department Headquarters
25 radians later

Commander White: We've just received word from relay station sentinel.  The 
Vultures have obliterated the Scorpions and the Serpents.  So much for 
vigilante factions.

Lt. Velasquez: A tragic loss to society.

Commander White: The Vultures have recalled their squadrons of skids.  The 
only thing swarming in the streets are drukflies.  Even the landers have left. 
If only we knew what the Vultures were up to!

Lt. Velasquez: Doesn't anyone in this department have a brain?  No wonder the 
city's on the verge of collapse!

Commander White: I don't appreciate your tone, Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: No -- the only thing you appreciate is a good --
-- shit!! My head!

Commander White: You should really do something about those headaches.

Lt. Velasquez: No shit.  Just give me some Vultures to vape and I'll be happy.

Commander White: Maybe you should see Dr. Ramses immediately.

Lt. Velasquez: Maybe you should stick your head in an ion emitter.  Listen, I 
didn't save this floating fire hydrant because I needed the company!  B.O.B. 
has Wolstencroft's security access codes crammed into those servo-circuits of 
his!

Commander White: Excellent!  Then we can use his access codes to breach the 
Vulture security net!

B.O.B.: I hate to sound p-p-pessimistic, b-b-but they've probably ch-changed 
the c-c-codes by now.

Commander White: I'll plug B.O.B. into a relay console.  We'll see if we can 
interface the Vulture net. You get Dr. Ramses to check your cranial implants 
before you blow your brains out!

Lt. Velasquez: I'd like to blow out his!

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

Colonel Kovia: Why were my squadrons recalled?  The vigilantes had been 
crushed!  I was on the verge of securing the damn city!

General Kreel: I have my reasons, Colonel.  I need not explain them to you.

Colonel Kovia: This is my ship!  I issue the standing orders!  Nothing happens 
without my approval!

General Kreel: Spare me your naval posturing, Kovia.  I believe you know Dr. 
Ramses, our pre-eminent specialist in weapons design.

Colonel Kovia: Aren't you supposed to be dead?

Dr. Clive Ramses: Perhaps you are referring to my clones, Leopold and Philip.  
I assure you, Colonel, I am quite intact.

General Kreel: The doctor's brought a new toy with him.

Colonel Kovia: I don't play with toys, General!

General Kreel: Neither do I, Commander.  Dr. Ramses's invention is far too 
dangerous a toy to play with.  But the time for games in Vulthaven is over... 
as of now!

--------------------------------------
MISSION VIII - EVAC-ATTACK!
--------------------------------------

T.D. Laboratory
Later...

Dr. Philip Ramses: I can't seem to find the glitch, yet the headaches seem to 
be getting worse.  Maybe we should consider changing your diet.

Lt. Velasquez: You couldn't change a dirty diaper.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Of course not.  That's a woman's job.

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

Colonel Kovia: Let me get this straight.  You intended to annihilate the whole 
city from orbit? 

Dr. Clive Ramses: My death satellite can project a collimated maser beam at 
Vulthaven's nuclear power grids.

General Kreel: A chain reaction would destroy the city in moments.

Colonel Kovia: I don't believe this!  We have the firepower aboard this 
cruiser to pulverize half the planet!  Why should we entrust some cloned-out 
weird scientist to handle an overt military operation?

General Kreel: The overlord doesn't want the planet pulverized, Kovia.  This 
satellite is 100 percent effective.  It's a clean, mean, killing machine.

Colonel Kovia: And when will we see this demonstration of scientific 
superiority?

General Kreel: The order's already been given.

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
Next day

Commander White: Thanks largely to Lieutenant Velasquez and the B.O.B. droid, 
we've been able to use Director Wolstencroft's override codes to access the 
Vulture security grid.  We've learned that the Vulture High Command has a new 
orbital weapon capable of destroying an entire city with one shot.  The city 
they've chosen to destroy is Vulthaven.

Lt. Koth: Figuresss.  I wasss jussst ssstarting to like thisss placcce.

Lt. Striker: This city's practically destroyed already.

Lt. Velasquez: No thanks to you, Striker.  Kill many pedestrians today?

Commander White: That's enough!  I've already dispatched a coded message to 
our relay stations in Vultigard.  They're expecting us within the next 45 
radians.  The skid pilots will escort our personnel and equipment convoys 
safely across the Dardra Scrape.  The recon copter pilots will fly cover for 
both skids and the transports.  The Vultures are sure to send some 
interceptors once they notice our evaluation.

Lt. Velasquez: Can't we plant an invasive sequence into the satellite command 
system using our access to the security net?

Commander White: Our access was severed 9 radians ago by a city-wide security 
lockout.

Lt. Striker: How long do we have 'til the city blows?

Commander White: Once one of those reactors explode, even our kinetic shields 
won't protect us.  No more than 12 radians, at the most.

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
T.D. Underground Complex
Later

Screwdriver: I've been serving Selarian Sandrippers over this counter for 
sixteen years.

Lt. Velasquez: If you expect to be serving them for another sixteen years, 
you'd better get to a transport.

Screwdriver: Things won't be the same in Vultigard.

Lt. Velasquez: Fine by me.  I hate the way things are here.

Screwdriver: Say what you will, Velasquez, but this bar used to be the hot 
spot of the Traffic Department.  There were nights where I almost blew a diode 
serving Vinedian Afterburners!  You ever tried one of those?

Lt. Velasquez: Once.  Like drinking hydrochloric acid.

Screwdriver: When the Vulture incursion began, I actually thought about 
getting extra help!  I figured there would be lots of depressed, battle-hungry 
pilots aching for an icebreaker or margola jamango...but instead the business 
died.

Lt. Velasquez: You're not getting all blurry-eyed on me, are you?

Screwdriver: Nah.  The builder forgot to give me tear ducts.

Lt. Velasquez: And rust protection, apparently.

Screwdriver: Those Vultures really screwed up everything, didn't they?

Lt. Velasquez: They're still screwing up.

Weaponry Bridge    Warcruiser 'Scavenger'   In orbit...

Colonel Kovia: Fire!

[A large green laser beam from the sky makes contact with a tubular one-story 
building in the middle of the day.]

A bolt of green energy screams down
Biting into a generator
Deep in the city

Upper hangar
Traffic Department Headquarters

Lt. Velasquez: Damn those Vulture bastards!  They don't know who they're up 
against!  I'm gonna shove that satellite and my robotic arm right up the 
overlord's ass!

Dispatcher:  Now there's an interesting image.  I'm sure he'd enjoy that.

Lt. Velasquez: I thought we were going to leave you in Vulthaven.

Dispatcher: You wish.  Actually, I'm on the last convoy.  Most of the convoys 
have already entered the scrape, Vel.  You'll be flying helicopter cover for 
the last three.  Striker and B'Darien are in Hornets.

Lt. Velasquez: I should let the Vultures vape you.

Dispatcher: Don't get nasty.  Who would plug you in at night?

Lt. Velasquez: You couldn't plug a sink.

[Mission commences.]

[A reverse shot of the original helicopter hangar shot]

Helicopter hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
5 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: This is Velasquez.  I'm on the pad... awaiting instructions.

Dispatcher (2): Vulthaven Recon-chopper omega, stand by.

Lt. Velasquez: Finally... a new face.

Dispatcher (2): Same one I've always had.

Lt. Velasquez: Great.  Another smart ass.

LO-139: Welcome to the Vultigard Traffic Department.  I am LO-139, Vectorcomp 
model CX23198-B, modified surveillance droid, at your disposal.

Lt. Velasquez: You are a disposal.

LO-139: An excellent insult, Lieutenant Marta Velasquez of Vulthaven aged 24.

Lt. Velasquez: Leave my age out of it, you tirenium tennis ball!

Dr. Philip Ramses: Can we just get on with it?  I have to go to the bathroom.

LO-139:  Ha ha ha!  You Sechians are so full of humor!

Lt. Velasquez: And in Philip's case, a few other things.

LO-139: If you would please follow me, I will direct you to Captain Tol... and 
the nearest lavatorial facility.

[Captain Tol's Office.  A single, oblong desk with wood finish and black vinyl 
trim sits illuminated by a single light.  It contains three pieces of paper 
and a boxy CRT monitor.  A blue chair sits in front of it.]

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
Later...

Lt. Velasquez: This is a command center?

Captain Tol: Actually, it's a donut shop.  What have you done with my 
surveillance droid?

Lt. Velasquez: Nothing traumatic.  Your lackey is showing Dr. Ramses how to 
work the toilets.

Captain Tol: And you must be Lieutenant Velasquez... the cyborg.

Lt. Velasquez: Actually, I'm Yolanda the sex goddess..

Commander White: Velasquez...

Captain Tol: Is this your idea of a first impression?  I'm not amused.

Lt. Velasquez: You want amusement?  Go play in a toy store.

Captain Tol: I'd sooner assign you to shit detail.

Lt. Velasquez: If that means changing your dirty diapers, I decline.

Captain Tol: I know several scientists from Vectorbot who are eager to meet 
you.  Personally, I've seen better lines on a can opener.

Lt. Velasquez: Say, aren't you the little guy who spins straw into gold?  What 
you need is a pair of stilts!

Captain Tol: I can see you and I are going to enjoy working together.  I hope 
you enjoy scrubbing deckplates!

Lt. Velasquez: Sorry, shorty, but I can only scrub Vultures.

Captain Tol: Is that so? Well, you can kiss your flight privileges good-bye!

Lt. Velasquez: And you can kiss my bionic butt... if you can reach that high!

--------------------------------------
MISSION IX - WELCOME TO VULTIGARD
--------------------------------------

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
Next day

Commander White: I know she's 70 percent attitude and 30 percent bitch, but 
she's the best damn skid pilot I have.

Captain Tol: Do you like her?

Commander White: Not in the slightest.  In fact, I hate her guts.

Captain Tol: Well, I have two choices.  I can have her transferred to 
Vultmandu and let her demolish Captain Jackev's department... or keep her 
here... and demolish mine.

T.D. Shooting Range
That afternoon

B.O.B.: I don't think those surveillance droids like me.

Lt. Velasquez: Why not?

B.O.B.: They treat me like I'm obsolete... an antique.

Lt. Velasquez: Big deal.  At least they don't look at you like you're some 
kind of technological freak!

B.O.B.: F-f-freak?  You're n-n-not a freak, Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: Yeah, right -- just the perfect fusing of man and machine.  
Listen, hovernuts, if I want your opinion, I'll shoot it out of you.

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
15 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: So, I hear you're reassigning me to Captain Jackoff's 
department.

Captain Tol: That's Jackev, not jackoff.  That robotic ear of yours must be 
defective.

Lt. Velasquez: The only thing that's defect is your gene pool.

Captain Tol: Very clever, Velasquez, but I have no intention of letting you 
off that easily... I've decided to keep you here.

Lt. Velasquez: Well, don't expect me to jump for joy.

Captain Tol: I expect you to do your job, and obey orders of your superior 
officer.  In case you're confused, that person is me.  Insubordination will 
not be tolerated, understood?

Lt. Velasquez: Big words from a small man.  T.D. captains must be in short 
supply.

Captain Tol: Don't make me yank your jumper cables, Velasquez.  This city's in 
Vulture clutches, and we've got to change all that.  The director we're after 
is Friedkin Hyde, a real nutcase.

Lt. Velasquez: I guess you're an authority.

Captain Tol: Hyde's crazy.  He's been ordering arbitrary executions and 
authorizing citywide power shutdowns.  And he's got a home cooking program on 
channel 5!  He recently challenged me to a game of computer chess... I told 
him to go play with himself.

Lt. Velasquez: What's your point?

Captain Tol: Isn't it obvious?  We're already playing chess, and I need to 
take out a few of his pawns.  I'm assigning you to street recon for the next 
few days.  Can you fly a Hornet?

Lt. Velasquez: Don't insult me!

Captain Tol: I'll try.  Several ion trucks have been sighted transporting 
ammunition to Vulture supply depots throughout the city.  Delete them, along 
with any skids you encounter.

[A large hangar - two strange looking skids sit on the left, with people 
working under them.  An accordioned rising platform is on the right.  In the 
center, a ramp heads upward, with arrows painted on the ground.]

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
5 radians later

Dispatcher (2): Hornet beta, you are cleared for departure.

Lt. Velasquez: The name's Velasquez, vid-lips.  Call me Hornet beta again and 
I'll jam this fist through your face!

Dispatcher (2): You're jamming up the launch bay, Hornet beta.  Proceed with 
departure sequence at once.

Lt. Velasquez: I want the Vulthaven dispatcher here right now, or I'll blast a 
hole in the hangar wall!

Dispatcher (2): You're nothing but ammunition and armor-plated attitude.  Just 
try it, you bio-tech bimbo!

10 radians later

Dispatcher: That's quite a hole you made in the hangar bulkhead, Vel.  Missed 
the dispatch tower by 15 inches!

Lt. Velasquez: Clear me, Carl, or the next shot will be up your hole!

Dispatcher: I didn't know you cared.  It brings tears to my eyes.

Lt. Velasquez: It will if you waste any more of my time!

Dispatcher: Sniff... sob... clearance granted...sob...

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
Afterwards

Dispatcher: Looks like it's just you and me, Vel.  The regular dispatcher's 
taken two months vacation.

Lt. Velasquez: Good.  I hated her haircut.

Dispatcher: Sure.  Just admit it.  You have the hots for me!

Lt. Velasquez: I want you dead, if that's what you mean.

Dispatcher: Not exactly, but I'll take what I can get.

Lt. Velasquez: Get your butt-ugly face off my viewscreen!

[Director Hyde's office in Vultigard Vulture Command -- a long clear plastic 
desk rests in a room with red carpet and stone walls.  Two green monitors are 
embedded in the desk, and a green screen is projected behind him.  Two Vulture 
flags are on either side.  It looks much like a TV news desk in the future.]

Director Hyde's Office
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Director Freidkin Hyde: Impossible!  Utterly impossible.  Telupian's ruse 
should have won me the game in 17 moves!  Bahh!  If Telupio were alive today, 
I'd shoot that bastard mathematician!

Captain Glasya: I've been trying to contact you for the last hour!

Director Friedkin Hyde: I didn't want to be disturbed.

Captain Glasya: The Traffic Department has adopted some exiles from Vulthaven, 
including some psycho cyborg-bitch from hell!  I'm tripling the number of 
skids on patrol.

Director Friedkin Hyde: Do what you wish.  My concentration is horrendous!  I 
can't think of a single strategy to counter the vahanaman exchange!  There 
must be one I overlooked!

Captain Glasya: Forget the damn game for a moment!  We're not playing pyramar!

Director Friedkin Hyde: But I've never lost.

Captain Glasya: I'm telling you, those T.D. bastards vaped all our ion trucks!

Director Friedkin Hyde: Somehow, I've got to get rid of that rook.

Captain Glasya: The tanamaran sweep.

Director Friedkin Hyde: Really?  I should've known!

Captain Glasya: My father wants the newcomers annihilated!

Director Friedkin Hyde: Your father?

Captain Glasya: My father.  He's... displeased that the Vulthaven renegades 
were able to slip through your defense perimeter so easily.

Director Friedkin Hyde: Didn't I assign you to perimeter surveillance?

Captain Glasya: You were too busy... playing pyramar with Administrator Kelark!

Director Friedkin Hyde: Not a bad player, Kelark.  I still have to appoint a 
replacement for him.

Captain Glasya: Screw Kelark!  What about the Traffic Department?

Director Friedkin Hyde: I want those pesky bugs exterminated!  Squash them 
like bugs!  Tear their wings off!

Captain Glasya: Consider it done.  I'll start with that cyberslut, whoever she 
is.  Friedkin, who are you playing against.

Director Friedkin Hyde: Myself.  It's rather humiliating, actually.

--------------------------------------
MISSION X - WHITEOUT
--------------------------------------

T.D. Shooting Range
That night

Lt. Koth: Sorry to disturb you, Velassssquez, but Tol wantsss to sssee usss in 
his offissss.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't do night missions!  Especially not with walking, 
talking luggage!

Lt. Koth: It'sss a very sspecial esscort.  Commander White has been 
reasssigned to Vultissssare.

Lt. Velasquez: Can't you say anything without spitting all over the place?

Lt. Koth: I never took ssspeech lesssssons.

Lt. Velasquez: No?  Then take a walk, dragon breath.

Lt. Koth: Tol will be upssset.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't care if Tol throws a temper tantrum.  I've got a dozen 
more targets to trash, and unless you want to become one of them, you'd better 
get that sand-sucking, fork-tongued, fish-eyed, lizard-lipped scale face out 
of here!

Lt. Koth: Your inssssults don't disssturb me, Velasssquez.  I will sssend Tol 
your regretssss...

Lt. Velasquez: You can send Tol to the moon for all I care.

Capt. Glasya: Computer, access Vulture security interface, T.D. file index, 
entry code zeta-kappa 3552.  Generate a holographic image of Officer Marta 
Velasquez.  
Is this the most current image?

Computer: Affirmative.

Capt. Glasya: Current posting of subject?

Computer: Vulthaven Traffic Department, Seche Major.

Capt. Glasya: Vulthaven no longer exists!  Your file is outdated.  Access 
biographical data on subject.  Does the subject have any surviving family?

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
15 radians later

Captain Tol: When I summon you for a briefing, I expect you to attend 
immediately, not when it's convenient!

Lt. Velasquez: I needed to vent some frustrations.  I didn't want to use any 
living targets...

Captain Tol: As you know, Commander White has been reassigned.  As part of 
escort team alpha, your job is to escort her transport safely to the city 
perimeter under the cover of night.  The Vultures have tripled their patrols, 
so getting through will be difficult.

Lt. Velasquez: Not for me.

Captain Tol: I don't care about you.  It's the commander I'm concerned about.

Lt. Velasquez: Then why are you deporting her in an unarmed hoverskid?

Captain Tol: That's for me to know, Velasquez.  You're her escort, not her 
guardian angel.

Lt. Velasquez: I've never said I was an angel!

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
5 radians later

Dispatcher: I guess this means good riddance to Commander White!  Under that 
hard shell, I bet you're just busting with smiles!

Lt. Velasquez: The only thing I feel like busting is your head!

Dispatcher: Awww... did someone forget her protein syrup tonight?  It's not 
healthy to withhold all that happiness, Vel!  You should let it out.

Lt. Velasquez: I should just take you out!  You piss me off.

Dispatcher: Hey, babe, it's a living.  In all seriousness, once you've 
completed your mission, there will be a lot of action out there.  Ignite those 
afterburners and zoom right back.

Lt. Velasquez: Screw that.  I've got Vultures to vape!

Dispatcher: Never mind the Vultures.  You've got a date in hangar pit 12.

Lt. Velasquez: The hell I do.

Dispatcher: Trust me on this.  This is one date you don't want to miss!

Lt. Velasquez: Got sit on a moloton sandmine!  I've got a date with a dozen 
Vulture scumsuckers, and I don't intend to miss any of them!

[Mission commences.]

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. center
15 radians later

Lt. Striker: Stiletto Alpha One has returned safely to the landing bay.

Captain Tol: Has Commander White reached the city perimeter yet?

Lt. Striker: Yes, sir.  Relay station Vanguard confirms her recon chopper just 
passed beyond the Vulture detection grid.  Operation decoy has been successful.

Captain Tol: Works very time!  Have Velasquez report to my office once Escort 
Team Beta returns.

Director Hyde's Office 
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Captain Glasya: Still playing with yourself, Friedkin?

Director Hyde: Amusing as always, Glasya.

Captain Glasya: Construction of the Vulture III is proceeding on schedule, 
despite some T.D. interference in component shipments.  I'm leaving Vultigard 
for a few days... I've got an appointment in Vulthelm.  My father has 
instructed you to designate a competent replacement in my absence.

Director Hyde: Rest assured.  Vultigard will still be here when you return.

Captain Glasya: You have your orders, Director!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XI - THE JAVELIN
--------------------------------------

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Vultigard T.D. Complex
Next morning

Lt. Velasquez: Looks like business isn't exactly booming.

Screwdriver: Business is always slow this time of night.  You Sechians sleep 
too much.

Lt. Velasquez: Not me.  Damn headaches keep me up 26 hours a day.

Screwdriver: More metallic migraines?  You should consider taking sedatives.

Lt. Velasquez: And you should consider putting up advertisements.

Screwdriver: Don't need 'em.  This place fills up in six hours.  I've got 
dozens of patrons and barely enough sandrippers to go around!

Lt. Velasquez: You must hear all the latest rumors.

Screwdriver: Nothing escapes these auditory sensors!  I've heard the Vultures 
have cut back their patrols.  Encounters with Vulture skids have been scarce 
lately.

Lt. Velasquez: So tell me, what's going on in hangar pit 12?

Screwdriver: Nothing I'm aware of ...

Lt. Velasquez: Liar.  I saw the hangar crew unloading a truckload of warheads. 
Half of them come up here regularly.  What's that domineering dwarf up to?

Screwdriver: You mean Captain Tol?  Well... rumor is he's got the prototype 
for a new assault vehicle -- with some kind of new armament.  According to my 
reliable sources, the new skid's been scheduled for its first mission this 
afternoon.

Lt. Velasquez: That tiny tyrant has me assigned to Hornet recon!  Who's he 
selected to fly the prototype?

Screwdriver: Honestly, I'm not sure.  But Officer Killigan has been looking 
rather smug lately.  Between you and me, most of the T.D. officers around here 
think she's -- how do you say -- the best man for the job?

Lt. Velasquez: A blow job, maybe, but not this assignment!

Screwdriver: You're not thinking of crossing Captain Tol, are you?

Lt. Velasquez: What's he gonna do?  Bite my ankles?

Hangar Bay 12
Vultigard Traffic Department
25 radians later

B.O.B.: I don't think this is such a g-g-good idea!

Lt. Velasquez: You will interface with the dispatch computer, and clear the 
Javelin for departure.

B.O.B.: I d-d-don't have the c-c-clearance.  I might g-g-get my arm s-s-stuck 
in an access socket!  They c-c-could pull my plugs!

Lt. Velasquez: Stop whining, you levitating lunchpail!

B.O.B.: W-w-what about the s-s-surveillance droids?

Lt. Velasquez: I'll handle them.  You just get your hull to the control room!

Over a private vidcom
45 radians later
In the hangar bay...

Captain Tol: I seriously doubt that you have clearance to this area, 
Velasquez.  You will report to my office immediately.

Lt. Velasquez: Well, if it isn't Captain Troll.

Captain Tol: If necessary, I'll pump the hangar full of etherplasmic gas and 
have you carried off to the compounds!

Lt. Velasquez: I'm taking the Javelin for a ride.  Dr. Ramses has attached a 
distiller module to my programming.  Your gas has no effect on me.

Captain Tol: I've already assigned Killigan to the mission!

Lt. Velasquez: Believe me, Captain, she's in no condition to fly.  You'll find 
her unconscious in a level two janitorial closet.

Captain Tol: Your behavior is unbefitting of a T.D. officer.  As of now, you 
are relieve---

Lt. Velasquez: Goodbye!

Captain Tol: Damn her!  Activate the security lockout to the hangar bay!

Lt. Striker: Someone has initiated a static override and granted Velasquez 
departure clearance!  The Javelin's preparing to leave the hangar bay!

Captain Tol: I didn't give her enough credit.  Order dispatch to program the 
mission objectives into Velasquez's vid unit.  And have security locate 
Officer Killigan.

[Mission starts.  You pilot a Javelin, which is thinner and smaller (looks 
like a spaceship with a porthole), has one ion cannon, but lots of homing 
missiles.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Captain Tol: Vel, your mission is to destroy three Vulture transports that are 
arriving to help the Vultures build some kind of new ship.

Lt. Velasquez: No problem, shorty.  This sucker has afterburners!

Captain Tol: Your Javelin is loaded with four of the new nuclear 'seeker' 
missiles, too.  These will lock on the closest ship and destroy it immediately 
on impact.  Make sure that you use these to your advantage... and be careful 
not to fire them too near a friendly skid - they aren't picky about targets!

Lt. Velasquez: Make sure you don't send any wingmen out here, Tol.  I'm not 
picky about my targets either!!!

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
Afterwards

Dispatcher: Well, if it isn't the robot rebel!  Captain Tol wants a report on 
the Javelin's performance.

Lt. Velasquez: Don't bullshit me.  That little pecker probably wants my head 
on a silver platter.

Dispatcher: Tol's willing to forgive and forget - it's Killigan you'd better 
watch out for!

Lt. Velasquez: She better keep her puny breasts out of my business, or the 
next time I'll stuff her in an incinerator instead of a closet!

Dispatcher: And then there's the surveillance droid you destroyed... whatever 
happened to your soft spot for machines?

Lt. Velasquez: Consider it my contribution to the energy conservation program.

Director Hyde's Office
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Dr. Kane: Am I disturbing you?

Director Hyde: Not at all, Roland.  Actually, I've been waiting for you to 
call.

Dr. Kane: I had a few loose ends to tie up.  The delivery is scheduled to take 
place tomorrow.  I take it you've discussed the security provisions with 
General Kreel's daughter?

Director Hyde: Glasya has left us temporarily.  She departed for Vulthelm 
yesterday.

Dr. Kane: How fortunate for us.

Director Hyde: Indeed.  I've made arrangements with all perimeter units.  I'll 
expect your arrival sometime tomorrow.  When your mission is complete, we may 
even have one game of pyramar... if you're up to it.

Dr. Kane: I look forward to the opportunity.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XII - CHANGING OF THE GUARD
--------------------------------------

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Vultigard T.D. Complex
Next morning

Screwdriver: Every officer in the department knows about it!  I'm surprised 
Captain Tol didn't... you know... disconnect you!

Lt. Velasquez: That repugnant little runt?  He's instructed security to erect 
a cybertronic field around all hangar doors.

Screwdriver: Aren't you a bit irritable today?

Lt. Velasquez: Sorry... these damn headaches!
There's B.O.B.!  I guess I should thank you for selecting B.O.B. as your new 
waiter.  The security droids were ready to dismantle him.

Screwdriver: I've never gone wrong with robotic help.  You know, everyone 
around here thinks you've got the disposition of a malfunctional food 
dispenser -- and they're probably right.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't need your compliments.

Screwdriver: -- But somewhere in that chest cavity of yours is a heart of gold.

Lt. Velasquez: Actually, it's made of galvanized derenium polyfibre.

Screwdriver: Oh.  My mistake.

Vultigard Briefing Auditorium
Next day

Captain Tol: I've received word from Vultinear that the Vectorbot cargo is on 
its way.  The two of you are assigned to escort the corporate transports to 
our headquarters.

Lt. Koth: Sir... what's Vectorbot?

Lt. Velasquez: A subsidiary of Sechedon Industries, you moron.

Captain Tol: Sechedon provides the T.D. with all its equipment -- everything 
from skids to ion accumulators to that blaster strapped to your side.

Lt. Velasquez: Just what is this cargo that we're escorting?

Captain Tol: Don't know.  It's classified.  What I do know is that the company 
has sent two lab trucks and one of their top supervisors to oversee our 
handling provisions.  Dr. Kane is accompanying the trucks in a hoverskid.

Lt. Velasquez: Kane, huh?  He's a robotics specialist.  Ramses consults with 
him frequently regarding my cybernetic components.

Lt. Koth: Maybe Kane's decided to slap you with a patent!

Lt. Velasquez: Maybe I should just slap you stupid!

Captain Tol: Dr. Kane specifically requested you for this mission.  I suppose 
he thinks cyborgs are just wonderful.  Personally, I'd rather see you cleaning 
ventilation ducts!

Lt. Velasquez: I'd rather clean clocks, starting with yours!

Captain Tol: At least you'll keep the doctor interested.  These Vectorbot 
supervisors think they control everyone and everything...

Lt. Velasquez: Sounds familiar!

Captain Tol: The last thing I need is some Vectorbot know-it-all telling me 
how to run my department!

Lt. Velasquez: You couldn't run a race!

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
25 radians later

Dispatcher: The Vectorbot trucks are almost at the city perimeter, Vel.  
Remember, your nukes will automatically home in on the nearest vehicle -- 
watch you don't vape the Vectorbots by accident.

Lt. Velasquez: If I do, it won't be by accident!

Dispatcher: Kane could help you cope with those headaches.  He probably knows 
more about cybernetics than Ramses does!

Lt. Velasquez: Then again, a Velugian sunlizard knows more about cybernetics 
than Ramses does!

Dispatcher: Maybe Kane can make you less irascible...

Lt. Velasquez: Never mind Kane.  It's my dipshit partner you should worry 
about.

Dispatcher: Koth's not a bad guy... you should give him more of a chance.

Lt. Velasquez: I'll give him an ion spread up the ass if he screws this up!  
Now clear me for departure!

Dispatcher: Only if you promise to bear my children!

Lt. Velasquez: I'll knock your goddamn, stinking, son-of-a....

Dispatcher: Irascible as ever... you're cleared.

[Mission commences.]

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
15 radians later

Dr. Kane: Lieutenant Velasquez, my name is Roland Kane.  It's a pleasure to 
see you in the mesh, so to speak!

Lt. Velasquez: In the mesh?

Dr. Kane: Metal, flesh -- mesh!  A small witticism on my part.

Lt. Velasquez: Hardly befits a man of your bulk.  To quote my superior 
officer, what the hell do you want?

Dr. Kane: My, you are blunt.  Dr. Ramses obviously neglected to refit your 
cerebral processor with an emotive restrainer.  But if you must know, my 
purpose is threefold.

Captain Tol: I have not yet received a cargo manifest.  What equipment have 
you brought with you?

Dr. Kane: All will be unveiled shortly, captain.  I'm not here to undermine 
your authority.  On the contrary, my overall intent is to help you create the 
ultimate traffic department.  First, I've come to study the cyborg Velasquez.
Tell me, how are your Vectorbot components holding up?

Lt. Velasquez: They're not.  And I'm not some piece of machinery that you can 
study and disassemble.  Try it, and I'll strap your fat ass to the afterburner 
of a Javelin!

Dr. Kane: I have no intention of deconstructing the best thing this department 
has to offer.  Actually, I'm here on a mission of assembly, not disassembly.

Lt. Velasquez: You speak like a slithering politician!

Dr. Kane: A charming image.  Dr. Ramses tells me you're suffering from acute 
endo-cephalysis migraines.  I can help you with that.

Lt. Velasquez: I'd rather you didn't.

Captain Tol: You said your purpose was threefold.

Dr. Kane: For the last two months, I've been in constant contact with Dr. 
Ramses... keeping abreast of his progress in the field of cybernetics.  
Vectorbot is astounded by his achievements!  In fact, we intend to offer him a 
position within our company -- and rewards worthy of his genius!  That's my 
second purpose.

Captain Tol: And your third reason for coming here?

Dr. Kane: In the light of Dr. Ramses's success, Vectorbot has decided to 
conduct a small-scale experiment in Vultigard... with your permission, of 
course.

Captain Tol: And just what is this experiment?

Dr. Kane: It's simple, really.  Our task is to replace all sentient T.D. 
officers... with machines of superior skill!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIII - THE MODEL OFFICER
--------------------------------------

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
15 radians later

Captain Tol: The last thing I need is a department full of cyborgs!  Believe 
me, Dr. Kane, one cyborg is more than sufficient!

Dr. Philip Ramses: These aren't cyborgs, Captain Tol.  They're not like 
Velasquez at all!

Dr. Kane: That's true.  These are synthetics -- humanoid robots which are 
endowed with artificial intelligence.

Captain Tol: Computers?!

Dr. Kane: Use your imagination, Captain!  These androids are not simply 
computers or calculators.  They have the ability to analyze their situation 
and make decisions, like you or I.  But the supreme benefit is that they 
follow orders to the letter - they are not in the slightest bit disobedient, 
like your Officer Velasquez.  They will obey you -- even if it means their 
destruction!

Dr. Philip Ramses: Loyal yet disposable T.D. officers.

Captain Tol: But what if they run out of power in the middle of a mission?

Dr. Kane: Now you're just being foolish.  All the synthetic officers are 
equipped with power regulators and self-maintenance systems.

Dr. Philip Ramses: And they don't require a full night's sleep.  Only one hour 
to recharge!  They can work a 26-hour shift without feeling it!

Captain Tol: What about their tactical skills?

Dr. Kane: They are capable of identifying and countering any combat maneuver 
quickly and accurately.  In every sense, they are superior to their limited 
organic counterparts!  Each is a model officer!

Captain Tol: Well... all right.  We'll try it your way, Dr. Kane.

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Vultigard T.D. Complex
That evening

Screwdriver: I've always said there's a place for robots on the flight roster! 
Looks like our captain has an open mind after all!

Lt. Velasquez: Captain lobotomy has no clue what he's doing.  And something 
about that slug, Roland Kane, really bugs me!

Screwdriver: I've met a few Vectorbot supervisors in my day.  Too many high 
IQ's, if you ask me...

Lt. Velasquez: Kane's got the IQ of a sand plankton... and he stinks like a 
three-day roadkill.

Screwdriver: Fair enough, but five officers have died defending this city in 
the last two months.  Who knows, these androids could save a few Sechian 
lives...

Lt. Velasquez: This planet doesn't need an army of robot automatons to nail 
those Vulture bastards!  Contrary to what that Vectorbot slimetoad says, I 
don't consider those androids expendable any more than I consider myself 
expendable - or you, for that matter!

Screwdriver: I appreciate the compliment, but I don't think the captain 
intends to replace all of the organic officers on the force.

Lt. Velasquez: I'm not sure that the little midget has a choice.  I'm telling 
you right now, if Kane turns out to be the slug I think he is... I'll smear 
his ass from one end of Vultigard to the other!

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. center
Next day

Captain Tol: I'm assigning both of you to a search and destroy mission.  You 
will be flying Hornets.
The purpose of this mission is to evaluate the combat effectiveness of Dr. 
Kane's prototype synthetic.  Officer Velasquez, meet A.R.E.O.-1.

Lt. Velasquez: What the hell does A.R.E.O. stand for?  A.nother R.obot with 
E.lectrode O.verload?  A.natomical R.eject of E.ngineered O.rigin?

Captain Tol: Adaptive recon and enforcement officer, actually.

Lt. Velasquez: More like A. R.emedial E.xcuse for an O.rganism!

Captain Tol: Whatever you choose to call him, he's your new partner.

Lt. Velasquez: Fine.  Now are you gonna give us the mission, or do I have to 
spank it out of you?

Captain Tol: Isaac Murnau, Vultigard's security administrator, is leaving the 
city via hoverskid.  He's scheduled to become the new director of Vultanova.

Lt. Velasquez: What happened to the old one?

Captain Tol: Apparently, he didn't meet with the military's standards.

Lt. Velasquez: You mean he had a brain?

Captain Tol: The reason doesn't matter, Velasquez.  Your job is simply to 
destroy Murnau's skid before it leaves the city.  Vultures have been assigned 
to protect him, so watch out.

Dr. Philip Ramses: As per Roland's instructions, I've programmed A.R.E.O.-1 
with the mission specifics.  If all goes well, the prototype android should 
devise its own strategy for completing the task at hand.

Lt. Velasquez: This dickless 'droid couldn't devise a strategy to boil water!

Dr. Philip Ramses: Sounds like someone's developing an inferiority complex!

Lt. Velasquez: Sounds like someone wants his guts blown out!

Captain Tol: Will you two stop bickering?!  Time is short!

Lt. Velasquez: So are you, but we don't complain.

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
25 radians later

A.R.E.O.-1: I look forforward to serving with you, Officer Velvelarno.

Lt. Velasquez: That's Velasquez, you synthetic simpleton!  Mispronounce my 
name again and I'll vape a hole right through that blank face of yours!  And 
fix that stupid stutter!

Dispatcher: So, Vel, which do you like better -- living breathing colleagues 
or lifeless, synthetic ones?

Lt. Velasquez: You don't classify as either, shitface!

Dispatcher: If the Vectorbot does its job, you could be out on the streets 
without a skid for protection!

Lt. Velasquez: I don't need protection!

Dispatcher: I thought all you cyborgs practiced safe sex!

Lt. Velasquez: You were thinking?!  That's a surprise!

Dispatcher: I'm just full of surprises.

Lt. Velasquez: No, you're just full of crap.

[Mission commences.]

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
5 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: That alloy-brained asshole you call an officer went completely 
freakazoid just seconds after leaving the damn hangar!

Dr. Kane: The malfunction has already been corrected.  Dr. Ramses simply 
underestimated the sensitivity of the prototype's programming module.

Captain Tol: If the synthetics are that sensitive, Doctor, perhaps we should 
limit their participation to simple patrol duty.

Lt. Velasquez: A rectum probe could fly a skid better than that tirenium-
testicled trash compactor!

Dr. Kane: The fault was mine.  I should have inputted the programming sequence 
myself.  I can see you're both skeptical of A.R.E.O.'s abilities.  Rest 
assured ---

Lt. Velasquez: Spare us the rhetoric, Doctor!  We don't need your robotic 
retards to defend this city... and we certainly don't need a scientific 
sociopath like you!

Captain Tol: If you don't mind, I'll make that determination for myself, 
Velasquez.  Dr. Kane's androids have completed several successful simulated 
missions.  I, for one, believe that they deserve another chance.

Lt. Velasquez: Believe what you will, but keep those synthetic scrotums out of 
my way!

T.D. Laboratory
Later...

Dr. Philip Ramses: This is odd.  Is this some sort of... modular enhancement?

Dr. Kane: Yes.  We made a few modifications to the prototype.  That device is 
an electronic gyroscope.

Dr. Philip Ramses: Actually, this appears to be the activation module for a 
self-destruct program...

Dr. Kane: We needed a security precaution in the event the android was somehow 
captured.

Dr. Philip Ramses: But this looks like a kelonite matrix!

Dr. Kane: Very perceptive, Dr. Ramses.  Vectorbot should surely avail itself 
of your chemical talents!

Dr. Philip Ramses: But this device could incinerate a building.

Dr. Kane: Come now, Doctor.  Surely you're accustomed to devices of this 
destructive magnitude!  Should A.R.E.O.-1 be captured, rest assured that it 
will kill all its enemies within a hundred-meter proximity.

Dr. Philip Ramses: I feel safer already...

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIV - VULTURE MULCHER
--------------------------------------

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Vultigard T.D. Complex
That evening

A.R.E.O.-9: Is that a regenerative bio-lubricant you're drinking?

Lt. Velasquez: Get lost, you faceless shit.

A.R.E.O.-9: I'm sorry I disturbed you, but I wish to speak with you in private.

Lt. Velasquez: Didn't they give you ears?  Listen, you mechanized 
marble-minded messenger -- if Kane has something to say, he can say it to my 
face!

A.R.E.O.-9: I wish to speak with you in private.  I wasn't sent by Roland Kane.

Lt. Velasquez: Go back to Vectorbot, duranium-dick, and take that 
shit-for-brains supervisor with you!

A.R.E.O.-9: ... I understand your hostility, Officer Velasquez.  We synthetics 
represent a part of you which you don't like very much.  But I think there's 
something about us you should know...

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

General Kreel: What news, Doctor?

Dr. Kane: My androids are in place, General Kreel.  The Vultigard Traffic 
Department is no longer any concern to us.

General Kreel: Be sure to inform my daughter of your success, Doctor.  She 
will make arrangements to have you safely conveyed from the city.

Dr. Kane: I tried to contact Glasya myself, but she is unavailable.  She's 
temporarily left Vultigard in Friedkin's hands, and Friedkin has every 
intention of claiming the city as his own.  The deluded fool even thinks I'm 
on his side...

General Kreel: The political aspirations of an inept director do not concern 
me, Doctor.  Friedkin Hyde is living on borrowed time.

Dr. Kane: There is one concern... Tol's cyborg officer, Marta Velasquez, is 
causing problems.

General Kreel: That name sounds familiar.  Do what you must to erase her.

Dr. Kane: There's a bonus, however.  I've located our missing scientist, and 
I've compelled him to join Vectorbot!

General Kreel: Good.  Once you are finished in Vultigard, Doctor, have our 
clone returned to us.  The real Dr. Ramses is anxious to see his creation 
again!

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Vultigard T.D. Complex
5 radians later

A.R.E.O.-9: About nine years ago, Vectorbot tested their trident-class skid at 
the T.D. in Vultanayar.  Remember that?

Lt. Velasquez: The design was flawed.  The skid didn't protect its pilot's 
body from the engine's radiation emissions.  So what?

A.R.E.O.-9: Twelve officers suffered an acute form of fusive debilitation 
which was ultimately lethal.  As a result, Vectorbot agreed to pay a handsome 
recompense to the officers' families.

Lt. Velasquez: This story better be going somewhere!

A.R.E.O.-9: The officers did not die, Velasquez.  Instead, Vectorbot decided 
to encase each officer's deteriorating genetic fibers in solinized 
carbon-casing...

Lt. Velasquez: All in the name of research.

B.O.B.: Care for a drink, Velasquez?

Lt. Velasquez: Go fly off a cliff!

A.R.E.O.-9: Nine years later, Vectorbot finds twelve carbonized officers in 
the wreckage of Vultnayar's T.D. command station.  One of the company 
scientists, Roland Kane, decides to integrate their genetic fibers into the 
circuitry of his androids, creating a machine with regenerative capabilities.  
I am such a machine.

Lt. Velasquez: Kane did this to you?

A.R.E.O.-9: I feel no malice towards him.  He saved all that was left of my 
life.  Once again, I am a T.D. officer.  I am not some irresponsive automaton, 
Velasquez.  You should not hate me.

Lt. Velasquez: I hate everyone.  Just don't take it personally.
Do you have a name?

A.R.E.O.-9: You mean other than 'duranium-dick'?  Yes.  My name is Timothy 
Aibel.  Most of my memories survived Dr. Kane's erasure sequence, but Kane 
doesn't know this.  Please don't tell him my memory's intact.

Lt. Velasquez: I won't say shit.  What's your A.R.E.O. designation?

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
Next day

Captain Tol: I thought you never wanted to see another android, let alone work 
with one.

Lt. Velasquez: I needed to vent my frustration, but given the choice between a 
warm-blooded or cold-blooded partner, I'll take the cold-blooded one.

Captain Tol: Good.  You and A.R.E.O.-9 will be flying a patrol mission in 
Stilettos.  Your targets will be centered around the Vulture command post in 
the southeast - there have been reports of strange skids around that area.  
Intelligence suggests that some of the convoys you've destroyed lately were 
carrying parts for a new ship, so you may run into something a little 
different out there...

Lt. Velasquez: After seeing you every day, I'll be glad for the change!

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
25 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: What the hell do you want?

Dispatcher: Would sex be out of the question?

Lt. Velasquez: You'd never survive it.

Dispatcher: I can think of worse ways to die!

Lt. Velasquez: Well, write them down, and I'll see what I can do...

Dispatcher: You're pretty sharp, Vel.  Just like a Volgaran cactus!

Lt. Velasquez: You're dull like desert dirt.

Dispatcher: I've been called worse.  But I hear you've been saddled with 
another synthetic.  Tol must really like you!

Lt. Velasquez: No, I think you're more his type.  Besides, I requested the 
android.

Dispatcher: Oh yeah?  What's he got that I don't?

Lt. Velasquez: A lifetime warranty... and a personality!

[Mission commences.  You encounter a Vulture Mark III - it looks like a Mark 
I, but with thicker gray armor with green highlights]

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
After mission

Captain Tol: We were monitoring your progress via relay station Vanguard.  It 
seems the Vulture III skid has been completed ahead of schedule.

Lt. Velasquez: It's a slug.

Captain Tol: True, but it packs enough firepower to pulverize most of our 
skids.  In your opinion, how did the synthetic perform?

Lt. Velasquez: As much as I hate to admit it, he's not too bad.

Dr. Kane: I'll take that as a compliment.

Lt. Velasquez: Don't bother.

Captain Tol: Those androids may prove effective after all, assuming they each 
perform as well as A.R.E.O.-9.

Lt. Velasquez: I wouldn't count on it...

Director Hyde's Office
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Director Hyde: As you can see, Glasya is my darling, everything is exactly as 
you left it.

Capt. Glasya: I'll have to judge that for myself.

Director Hyde: My, you are a suspicious creature.  Much like your father, I'm 
afraid.  If you don't mind the criticism, your brief visit to Vulthelm was all 
too brief.

Capt. Glasya: Let's just say I found what I was looking for.  This is Ian, my 
new friend.

Director Hyde: You went to Vulthelm to find a friend?  How delightful!  By the 
way, how is Director Corman these days?

Capt. Glasya: Dead.  He was executed three months ago for treason... at my 
father's command.  Director Straub runs affairs in Vulthelm now.

Director Hyde: I see.  Well, as you know, no one is more loyal to the overlord 
than I...

Capt. Glasya: You're a puppet, Hyde.  Spineless and utterly brainless.  You 
cut your own strings, I guarantee you'll fall!

Director Hyde: Lovely rhetoric.  I don't suppose you have time for just one 
game of...

Capt. Glasya: Ian and I have other plans, don't we Ian?

Ian Alexander: Yes... ma'am...

--------------------------------------
MISSION XV - TOTAL SYSTEMS FAILURE
--------------------------------------

T.D. Laboratory
Later...

Dr. Philip Ramses: This is odd.  The matrix decoder must be damaged.
No.  Computer, activate microtron scanner and perform a type N matrix probe.
This is really puzzling.  Computer, activate the vidcom to Roland Kane's 
office.

Dr. Kane: What can I do for you, Doctor?

Dr. Philip Ramses: I've found some sort of defect in the A.R.E.O.-1's 
programming.  An encrypted sequence of some sort.  I've managed to override 
the synthetic's security barriers with a  matrix decoder, but I'm having 
trouble deciphering the sequence.

Dr. Kane: I'm sure it's nothing serious.  Nevertheless, I think we should 
discuss the problem.  I'll be right down.

T.D. Shooting Range
Later

Timothy Aibel: Twenty for twenty.  Not bad, Velasquez.  

Lt. Velasquez: Even your advanced aiming matrix can't beat that score!

Timothy Aibel: Twenty for twenty.  Now that's accuracy, Velasquez!

Lt. Velasquez: I hate cocky androids!

Timothy Aibel: Shall we try again?  Computer, set for level 24!

Lt. Velasquez: Loser buys the lubricant.  I'll shoot first.

10 radians later

Timothy Aibel: I can't believe I missed those last two targets!

Lt. Velasquez: Maybe you need a few adjustments?

Timothy Aibel: Maybe if you hadn't pushed me?

Lt. Velasquez: I don't like losing.  Don't forget, you owe me a drink at 
Screwdriver's!

Timothy Aibel: You going somewhere!

Lt. Velasquez: My head feels ready to explode.  I better see Ramses before it 
does!

T.D. Laboratory
5 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: Dr. Ramses??
Philip?  Are you masturbating again?
Philip?!  Oh my god...

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
Later that morning

Captain Tol: I don't want excuses, Doctor.  Three security droids vaporized... 
seven security overrides bypassed... five members of deckcrew delta wounded... 
Dr. Ramses shot dead by an ion pulse... all this, and your defective android 
gets away?!

Dr. Kane: An unfortunate happenstance, Captain.  I cannot explain how the 
A.R.E.O.-2 went berserk until I analyze its security subprocessor.

Captain Tol: Security subprocessor?!  This is the second time one of your 
creations has malfunctioned, Doctor!  I won't jeopardize the security of my 
department any longer!  I want all synthetic officers taken offline and 
deactivated by 1300 hours, including that walking wireheap standing next to 
you!

Dr. Kane: Captain, I think --

Captain Tol: Get out of my office!

Dr. Kane: You're making a foolish mistake, Captain.  A mistake which could 
ruin your career.  Don't let anger cloud your judgment.  You'll need my 
expertise to subdue the A.R.E.O.-2 synthetic.

Captain Tol: I have all the expertise I need.

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
25 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: This is Velasquez.  Clear me for departure.

Dispatcher: You'll be flying this one with Braga and B'Darien.  Captain Tol's 
yanked your bionic buddy off the streets... permanently.

Lt. Velasquez: Tol can yank his puny little penis for all I care.  You tell 
that microbe to leave A.R.E.O.-9 on the roster!

Dispatcher: I'll be sure to relay your affections.  In the meantime, your 
instructions are to trash the A.R.E.O.-2 android that wasted Dr. Ramses and 
blasted its way out of the hangar.  It's flying a stolen Javelin and vaping 
the hell out of everything it sees!

Lt. Velasquez: Consider it destroyed.  Now clear me!

[Mission commences.]

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
After mission

Dispatcher: You really pulled that android's plug, Vel.  Care to pull mine?

Lt. Velasquez: Yours isn't long enough, twigdick.

Dispatcher: That was a good one!  Really!  Listen, babe, I'd love to trade 
insults with you, but Tol wants to see you right away.  Sounds urgent.

Lt. Velasquez: Someone probably stole his baby rattle!

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
That evening

Captain Tol: Our medics performed an autopsy on Dr. Ramses...

Lt. Velasquez: I thought he got blasted by ion fire?

Captain Tol: He was.  But Dr. Orulin took a cellular sample and discovered a 
genetic drift.  He also performed a rahnkar series.  Another scan of the 
endoskeleton revealed that the bones have only five years worth of decay... do 
you know what that means??

Lt. Velasquez: Enlighten me, imp-wit.

Captain Tol: Philip Ramses was a clone.

Lt. Velasquez: That figures.  Then Leopold wasn't the only one... and who 
knows how many more of them are out there!

Captain Tol: We have more pressing concerns, Velasquez.  Just before he died, 
Philip performed a microtron scan on the android prototype.  The scan detected 
a suspicious programming anomaly in the A.R.E.O.-1s security subprocessor... a 
defect in the android's root command structure.  I never mentioned it to 
anybody, but when I talked to Kane, he assumed right away that there must be a 
glitch in the security subprocessor of the A.R.E.O.-2 model.

Lt. Velasquez: Glitch, my ass!  That bastard Kane probably put it there 
intentionally!  Those aren't androids, Captain.  They've got the genetic 
material of twelve T.D. officers grafted into their circuitry.

Captain Tol: I know.  We've performed a communications sweep, and discovered 
that Philip contacted Kane once, just before he was killed.

Lt. Velasquez: Philip must've uncovered something suspicious, and Kane 
programmed the android to kill him.

Captain Tol: The lab files were virtually wiped out.  Although Kane's berserk 
android ionized most of the databanks, we've managed to recover a fragment of 
Philip's research from the isolated file index.
Philip found that both you and the prototype were virtually identical in 
structure... which would imply that those synthetics are pretty well the same 
as you.

Lt. Velasquez: Vectorbot must have its own Dr. Ramses.  If Philip were just a 
clone, the real Ramses must still be out there somewhere.

Captain Tol: Kane said he wanted to offer Philip a deal at Vectorbot.  The 
real Ramses must've wanted his rogue clone returned.

Lt. Velasquez: Let's ask Kane what he knows!  I'm sure I can persuade him to 
be cooperative!

Captain Tol: At this point, all we know for certain is that Philip was a 
clone.  We need more than speculation to accuse Kane of murder.

Lt. Velasquez: Give me five minutes alone with him!  He'll confess to anything 
we want!

Captain Tol: Precisely why I won't allow it - I don't run my department that 
way, Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: Let's face it, Captain.  You couldn't run a rat-race!

Captain Tol: If only we could get inside one of those androids... take it 
apart and figure out what the hell's inside the root command module!

Lt. Velasquez: I have a way...

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVI - A LIFETIME WARRANTY
--------------------------------------

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger'  One week later

Capt. Glasya: My mission to Vulthelm is complete, father.  The child is in my 
custody.

General Kreel: Then our records were accurate.  Excellent.  And the boy's 
guardians?

Capt. Glasya: Dead.  The boy, of course, knows nothing.

General Kreel: If Kane's biotechnical brilliance fails us, we may need the boy 
to undermine Vultigard's Traffic Department.

Capt. Glasya: I await your command, father.

General Kreel: Kane has activated the android destruct sequence prematurely.  
He is now requesting safe and immediate passage out of the city.

Capt. Glasya: Should we comply?

General Kreel: He has served his function well.  Allow him to leave the city 
in one piece.  We can destroy him later if necessary.

Capt. Glasya: I understand.  It will be done.

Meanwhile...
At the T.D. Laboratory...

Lt. Velasquez: If all goes well, this should be painless.

Timothy Aibel: And if this doesn't work, then what?

Lt. Velasquez: You might lose your neural cohesion.  No need to worry.  Ramses 
did this to me a hundred times.

Timothy Aibel: That's not very reassuring.

Lt. Velasquez: For an android, you sure whine a lot.  Computer, perform an 
internal Type N microtron scan.
How do you feel?

Timothy Aibel: Intoxicated.  You know, this could be addictive!

Lt. Velasquez: Tell me about it.  I'm detecting security lock-outs on all root 
command pathways.  Can you override them?

Timothy Aibel: Yes.  I have access to all internal programs and subroutines... 
a modification intended to expedite repairs.  I can deactivate any electronic 
blockades, including ones installed by Kane.

Lt. Velasquez: Then what are you waiting for, a kick in the ass?

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
Later that afternoon

Lt. Velasquez: Once the security blockades were dropped, the computer was able 
to detect a self-destruction program concealed within Timothy's artificial 
neural fibers.  The program is linked to a kelonite detonator implanted in 
Timothy's chest.

Captain Tol: You mean these androids are walking warheads?!

Timothy Aibel: The detonation program automatically activates whenever one of 
us is captured.  In my case, the program has been activated prematurely... 
probably by remote control.

Captain Tol: Can you stop it?

Lt. Velasquez: We've removed the kelonite modules from both Timothy and the 
prototype, but there's nine other synthetics equipped with the device... and 
they all employ encrypted security lock-outs.  Unless they decide to help us, 
there's no way to deactivate them.

Captain Tol: All synthetics have been confined to the storage facility on 
level four.  If we had more time, I'd instruct security to rig a voltron 
discharge through the androids' power couplings...

Lt. Velasquez: Pretty sneaky for a little dweeb!

Timothy Aibel: Our detonation programs are constrained by proximity detectors. 
The kelonite won't explode until Kane is far enough away.

Lt. Striker: Captain -- Dr. Kane has left the hangar bay in a hoverskid.  He 
used a Vectorbot authorization code.

Captain Tol: You want him?

Lt. Velasquez: Every fat chunk of him!

Captain Tol: Well, make sure you get that bastard before he leaves the city!

[Mission commences.]

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
After mission

Dispatcher: You give one hell of a send-off, Vel.  You'll be pleased to know 
that we've begun deactivating the remaining androids... with the exception of 
your boyfriend.

Lt. Velasquez: Get off my vid screen!

Dispatcher: Let me guess.  Another headache!

Lt. Velasquez: Your perception's astounding.

Dispatcher: I have some super-strength sedatives in my quarters if you want 
one!  I mean, with Philip gone, someone's got to lubricate your biofunctions!

Lt. Velasquez: I'd rather rust.

Director Hyde's office
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Director Hyde: You're more cruel than I give you credit for.

Capt. Glasya: Spare me the compliments, Friedkin.  I've already notified my 
father of your treachery.

Director Hyde: Treachery?  What treachery?  Kane is dead.  You can't prove a 
thing.

Capt. Glasya: I don't have to.  I'm the general's daughter.

Director Hyde: At least give me an opportunity to redeem myself.  After all, 
I'm not the one who screwed up operation obliteration!  That was your own 
miscalculation!

Capt. Glasya: I'll just blame it on you.
Ian's an alluring child, isn't he?

Director Hyde: I wouldn't know.  I hate children.

Capt. Glasya: That's because you've never had any.  The boy is actually quite 
likeable -- innocent, harmless, vulnerable... I'm surprised that Vulture games 
haven't corrupted him!

Director Hyde: You shouldn't expose your daughter to Sechian children.  She 
might become... infected.

Capt. Glasya: It's not for long.  Besides, I have other plans for Ian.

Director Hyde: If you like, I could arrange an execution on channel five... 
pity we don't have some sniveling Sechian diplomats in custody.  They always 
get the best ratings.

Capt. Glasya: I don't intend to kill the boy.  When the time comes, I'll leave 
that task to his mother...

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVII - DEAD VIA SATELLITE
--------------------------------------

Director Hyde's Office
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Dr. Clive Ramses: Sorry I'm late.  An executive at Sechedon raised some 
questions regarding the Kane incident.

Director Hyde: I take it you dealt with him?

Dr. Clive Ramses: Let's just say his concern was quelled.  Now... shall we 
proceed with the mission?

Director Hyde: Our schedule is quite flexible, doctor.  In fact, if I wasn't 
under suspicion for treason, I might offer you a game of pyramar before we 
begin.

Dr. Clive Ramses: Perhaps another time.  Right now, we have some new 
technology to implement.  Where's Glasya?

Director Hyde: Off being a bitch somewhere, I imagine.

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
The next day

Captain Tol: Vectorbot sense sincere apologies.  Sincere apologies my ass!
What the...

[Captain Tol, sitting at his desk, and Velasquez turn around to see a Vulture 
soldier teleport in, along with two others still forming behind him.  
Transcriber's Note: It's not clear from this picture (Tol doesn't even look 
like himself--he's not bald or short) but Tol dies in this instance.]

Capt. Glasya (apparently talking via vidcom): Report, Lieutenant.  Have you 
disabled their defensive systems?

Bael: The ion screen is no longer functional, Commander.  We've successfully 
destroyed their subterranean polarity array.

Capt. Glasya: You have served the overlord well, Bael.  Now you must avoid 
capture.  Terminate yourself... immediately.
...
I gave you an order!  Destroy yourself, immediately.

Lt. Velasquez: You picked your men well, Glasya.  Sorry, but I had to kill 
this one myself.

Capt. Glasya: Velasquez! 
Don't delude yourself, cyborg!  In one hour, our satellite will be in position 
to open fire!  Soon, your defenseless base will be annihilated... and you 
along with it!

Lt. Velasquez: All bark, no bite... just like any other common dog.  Get a 
life, you bitch!

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
45 radians later

Timothy Aibel: All levels have completed their security sweep.  No other 
Vulture incursors have been detected.

Lt. Velasquez: Except the one I ionized.  What's the damage to our defense 
screens?

Timothy Aibel: The polarity field is completely fused, and the power 
regulators have been damaged by handgun fire.  The repair crews say they need 
at least 12 hours to reactivate the ion screen.

Lt. Velasquez: You tell the repair crew they have five hours.  In the 
meantime, we have a job to do.  Assemble an assault team.  I want B.O.B. on 
the team -- whether he likes it or not.  Our success might depend on his 
knowledge of Vulture security and communication codes, but don't tell him 
that.  Once your team is ready to fly, meet me in hangar pit six.  We've got 
some decisions to make...

Timothy Aibel: I'll be there.

T.D. Briefing Auditorium
5 radians later

Lt. Velasquez: Our target is the Vulture ozone station north of the city.  The 
facility is equipped with a relay antenna and weather satellite uplink.  
Officer Aibel and his assault team will secure the command center using B.O.B. 
to override security lock-outs.  The team will destroy the death satellite 
with a pulse of collimated xarion particles transmitted along a stabilized 
relay wave.

Lt. Striker: I don't believe this!  You're putting the fate of this department 
in the hands of an android and a crappy little robot?!

Lt. Velasquez: That's exactly what I'm doing!  And I'll vape anyone who 
complains about it!  Striker, you and Koth will escort the team transports 
safely to the city perimeter.  I'll keep Glasya's goons busy dodging moloton 
missiles.  Don't forget to activate your IR sensors... you'll need them to see 
in the dark!  The Vulture satellite will be positioned to fire in 12 radians 
-- we have that long to complete our objective.  Proceed!

[Mission commences.]

Director Hyde's office
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Director Hyde: What do you mean, it's my fault?!  I didn't build the damn 
thing, you did!

Dr. Clive Ramses: My satellite was moments away from discharge.  Your 
incompetence allowed the T.D. to destroy seven years of scientific research!

Director Hyde: You call that research?!  The only thing it did was explode!

Dr. Clive Ramses: This city is your jurisdiction -- your responsibility!  If 
the streets had been properly defended, the transport never would have reached 
its destination in the first place!

Director Hyde: Street defense is Glasya's responsibility, not mine!

Dr. Clive Ramses: How easily you justify your uselessness!  I don't care what 
you say -- I hold you responsible for the satellite's destruction!

Director Hyde: I will not become a scapegoat simply because you're terrified 
of the general's daughter!

Dr. Clive Ramses: I am not!

Director Hyde: Are too!

Dr. Clive Ramses: Am not!

Director Hyde: Are too!

Captain Tol's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
25 radians later

Commander Velasquez: Listen to me, you thick-skulled, snake-tongued Selarian!  
Tol is history, and I'm taking command of this department until his 
replacement arrives.

Lt. Koth: There is sssignificant concern among the other pilotsss, including 
myssself.  They don't trussst you, Velasssquez, and neither do I.

Lt. Velasquez: I don't expect your trust, Koth, only obedience!  Let's get one 
thing straight, slither-lips.  Without me, you'd be operating out of the 
deepest damn crater in the eastern hemisphere!  There's never been any 
question of where I stand.  I'm here to save this city and this whole goddamn 
planet!  So from this point forward, I have complete control over all recon 
designations... and any officer who contests my decision will answer to me!

Lt. Koth: I refuse to ssserve a psssychopathic, powerthirsssty cyborg.  I 
believe I ssspeak for mossst of the other pilotssss when I sssay you're as 
dangerous to usss as any Vulture ssscum.

Lt. Velasquez: I'll bear that in mind... and so should you!

Timothy Aibel: Commander, we've completed our analysis of the Vulture's 
transmolecular device.  Its power cell is intact and can be replaced.

Commander Velasquez: Good.  Report to my office immediately... and bring two 
security droids with you!

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

Mala: Mother, can I play with that boy again today?

Capt. Glasya: No, I'm afraid not.  I know you like him... but he's a Sechian, 
and Sechians can never be our friends.

Mala: Why?

Capt. Glasya: They are a violent and cruel people.  They deliberately try to 
harm and molest us.  We extend our hand in friendship, and in return they give 
us hatred.  They are an evil race, Mala -- bred for destruction and chaos.  We 
have no choice but to destroy them... all of them, including Ian.

Mala: But I want someone to play with!

Capt. Glasya: We'll find you another friend.  Someone nice, I promise.  But 
for now, we must protect ourselves... and I must protect you.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVIII - CONFLICT OF CONSCIENCE
--------------------------------------

Commander Velasquez's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
Next day...

Timothy Aibel: Throwing Koth in the brig wasn't a smart decision.

Commander Velasquez: No, but it sure as hell felt good.  Tell me more about 
this device... the trans-whatever-you-call-it.

Timothy Aibel: It teleports matter at the molecular level, but its power cell 
is sufficient for only one successful transport.  The Vultures had no way of 
getting back, which is why they rigged each device with a disintegration 
module.

Commander Velasquez: The question is, what can we do with this thing now that 
we have one?

Timothy Aibel: I have an idea.  It's dangerous, very risky, and extremely 
suicidal.

Commander Velasquez: I think I like it.  Let's hear it.

Over an open communications channel
Later that evening

Capt. Glasya: I have a message for Officer Velasquez.

Commander Velasquez: And I have a message for your father.  Tell him his 
daughter's a pea-brained idiot!

Capt. Glasya: You will regret your slander, Sechian!  Just as you'll regret 
destroying our satellite!

Commander Velasquez: The only thing I regret is not seeing your face when the 
satellite exploded.  If you've got something to say to me, say it!  I haven't 
got time for posturing.

Capt. Glasya: I have your son, Velasquez.  I have Ian... here, in Vultigard.

Commander Velasquez: I don't have a son, you stupid slimecow!

Capt. Glasya: Then someone must have fried your memory circuits!  Ian's right 
here, and he's anxious to speak with you.

Ian Alexander: Mom... is that you?  What's happening?  Where are you?  Why 
won't you come home?  I'm afraid!

Commander Velasquez: Don't be afraid.  No one's going to hurt you.

Capt. Glasya: I'm not here to exchange insults.  Our data confirms that your 
ion screen is still deactivated... and that your chain of command has been 
broken!  In a matter of minutes, three heavily armored type-III skids will 
pound your pitiful hangar into oblivion!  We will annihilate you and your 
insectile Traffic Department the same way we crushed the resistance at 
Vulticodat!

Commander Velasquez: Your scrapmetal skids couldn't crush an anthill!  I'll 
send them back to you in pieces!

Capt. Glasya: Go ahead.  Your precious Ian will be aboard one of those skids, 
screaming in terror the instant your missiles reach their mark!  Even a cyborg 
has a conscience, Velasquez.  You'll end up killing your own son!

Commander Velasquez: If he dies, I swear I'll kill you!

Capt. Glasya: His fate is in your hands, Velasquez, not mine.  Is his life 
worth more than the lives of your colleagues??  Better decide quickly -- you 
have less than one hour!

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Vultigard T.D. Complex
5 radians later

Screwdriver: I don't know what to say.

Commander Velasquez: Then don't say anything, lug-nuts!  I don't need your 
synthetic sympathy!

Screwdriver: You never mentioned you had a child, Velasquez.

Commander Velasquez: I wanted to forget.  I was seventeen... and reckless.

Screwdriver: You?!  Reckless?!  Hard to believe.

Commander Velasquez: My mother died when I was young.  After my father was 
killed, I was sent to Vulthelm to live with my aunt.  She tried to control 
me... but I ran away.  I can't remember how many slimeballs I screwed with 
just to stay alive... I don't even know which one is Ian's father!  Doesn't 
matter.  I didn't want anything to interfere with becoming a T.D. officer!

Timothy Aibel: Not even your own son?

Commander Velasquez: I didn't want a son!  I left the little brat with my 
aunt.  Over the years, she would deliberately send me pictures of him... just 
to remind me of my responsibility!  I sent them all back.

Timothy Aibel: Well, now the Vultures have him.  The question is, should you 
forsake everything you have to save him?

Screwdriver: Vicissitude.

Commander Velasquez: Vicissi-what?

Screwdriver: Vicissitude.  A sudden change in the circumstances affecting 
one's life -- in this case, your life.  It's the moment when everything hinges 
on one decision.

Commander Velasquez: My life ended a long time ago.  My only purpose now is to 
nuke Vultures.  If that means losing someone I... love... yes, I love him.  If 
that means losing someone I love, so be it.  It wouldn't be the first time!

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
75 radians later

Dispatcher: Noyce and Killigan refuse to acknowledge your instructions.  They 
haven't reported to their designated hangar pits.  Looks like you and the 
android are all we've got!

Commander Velasquez: I've placed Aibel in command until I return.  Tell him I 
want both Noyce and Killigan scrubbing deckplates when I get back!

Dispatcher: Don't let emotion get the better of you, Vel.  And this time, try 
to come back in one piece!

Dispatcher: Don't lecture me, pickle-penis!  What's our status?

Dispatcher: The hangar's vanadium exo-structure is designed to withstand most 
conventional bombardment, but those Vulture III's pack a shitload of 
firepower!  Vaping them will be your top priority.  Nemecek, Timion, and Sova 
are out flying Hornet recon.  I've instructed them to provide assistance.

Commander Velasquez: I appreciate their loyalty.  Now clear me!

[Mission commences.]

Commander Velasquez's office
Vultigard T.D. Center
That afternoon

Dispatcher: Administrator Devornay of Sechedon wants a word with you, Vel.  
Something about the way you've taken over the department.

Commander Velasquez: When I find the slime who snitched --

Dispatcher: Don't look at me!  Personally, I think you're born for command!  
Let's face it... no one gives orders like you do!

Commander Velasquez: I don't need your vote of confidence.  If I want your 
support, I'll pound it out of you!

Dispatcher: I can hardly wait!

Over a private vidcom channel
Later that evening

Commander Velasquez: I'm not interested in corporate politics, and I'm not 
looking for a pay raise!  I'm just trying to keep that psychotic Vulture bitch 
from leveling half the city!

Devornay: No one at Sechedon doubts your commitment, Officer Velasquez.  In 
fact, I'm confident the department will function adequately under your charge.

Commander Velasquez: I can see right through your rhetoric, Devornay.  Don't 
you dare patronize me!

Devornay: In three hours, Captain Tol's designated replacement will be 
arriving in Vultigard by hovertruck.  I want your department to escort him 
safely back to T.D. headquarters, at which time he'll resume Captain Tol's 
command duties.

Commander Velasquez: Sorry, Anton, but all available skids are needed for 
recon and tactical operations.  I can't justify assigning my pilots to an 
escort mission at this time.

Devornay: Officer Velasquez, let me remind you ---

Capt. Glasya: You think you've won, Velasquez, but you're wrong!

Commander Velasquez: The fact that you can patch into a T.D. communications 
channel doesn't intimidate me, Glasya -- in fact, your incompetence is so like 
a Vulture, it makes me sick!

Capt. Glasya: I still have your son, Velasquez.  I promise his death will be 
slow and painful!

Commander Velasquez: You tried to use Ian against me and it failed... 
miserably!  I called your bluff, Glasya... I knew you wouldn't put him in one 
of the Vulture ships... you'd want to keep him to reuse.  But only a coward 
would harm a defenseless child.  You're nothing but a worm, Glasya, feeding 
off that heap of k'r'roc shit you call a father.

Capt. Glasya: I will not tolerate these insults!  My father has the power to 
destroy you, your son, and this worthless dustball you call a planet!

Commander Velasquez: Your father's a weak-willed simpleton who kisses the 
overlord's ass and enjoys it!

Capt. Glasya: That's enough!

Commander Velasquez: He couldn't even conquer a sandbox, let alone this 
'worthless' planet!

Capt. Glasya: You will suffer for this!

Commander Velasquez: He's even more inept than you are!  At least we know you 
weren't adopted!

Capt. Glasya: I'll have you blown to ionized bits!!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIX - AUTOMATON TIMEBOMB
--------------------------------------

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

Capt. Glasya: My Vulture III's have all been destroyed, father.  The cyborg 
Velasquez continues to move about the city unpunished!  
I have failed you...

General Kreel: Your report disappoints me.

Capt. Glasya: ... I ... except no mercy.

General Kreel: You are not to blame, my love.  I want that imbecile, Friedkin 
Hyde, delivered to me!  He will answer for this humiliation!  In the meantime, 
I will dispatch ten legions of type-III skids to annihilate the Vultigard 
menace.

Capt. Glasya: That cybernetic slut has deprived me of victory for the last 
time!  Save your legions, father.  I will destroy her -- myself!

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
At the same time...

Timothy Aibel: I am ready.

Commander Velasquez: I guess this is goodbye, then.

Timothy Aibel: I was built for this, remember?  I'm expendable.

Commander Velasquez: Not to me...

Timothy Aibel: Who knows.  Maybe this transmolecularizer doesn't even work!

Commander Velasquez: It better.  It's all we've got.

Timothy Aibel: If I happen to see your son...

Commander Velasquez: Don't get sentimental!  You'll just screw everything up 
if you waste time searching for him!

Timothy Aibel: I understand.  Any final instructions, Commander?

Commander Velasquez: No.  You're... dismissed.

Director Hyde's Office
Vultigard Vulture Command 
Later...

Capt. Glasya: Security Administrator Craven has been appointed the new 
director of Vultigard.  Consider yourself removed from office.

Director Hyde: Under whose mandate?!

Capt. Glasya: My father has requested your presence aboard the Scavenger.  He 
demands to know why the Traffic Department continues to violate Vulture law 
within your jurisdiction!

Director Hyde: Military operations aren't part of my job description!  Please, 
Glasya -- tell your father it's not my fault!

Capt. Glasya: You can apologize and beg for mercy when you see him.  
Shuttlecraft Gamaria is waiting, Friedkin.  I suggest you leave -- immediately.

Dr. Clive Ramses: It was nice knowing you, Friedkin.  Don't hesitate to give 
the general my regards!

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
Next morning

Commander Velasquez: What's the report from relay station Vanguard?

Dispatcher: Your quarry's on the warpath, Vel.  Glasya's left the V.C.I. with 
a four-skid escort.  Station Vanguard reports at least three stray Vulture I's 
on patrol as well.

Commander Velasquez: Instruct Nemecek and Sova to keep the strays occupied.  
The only thing I want between me and that buzzard bitch is this skid's ion 
spread!

Dispatcher: I hear ya', Vel.  Say, how 'bout giving that Vulture vixen a big 
ion kiss for me?

Commander Velasquez: Get a grip, vaporbrain.  Clear me.

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Glasya Kreel: No more games, Velasquez!  This time I'll wipe you out myself!!!

Lt. Velasquez: You couldn't wipe off a Vulture baby's butt!

Glasya Kreel: I've never lost a conflict... never.  All of my enemies are dead 
as dust!!

Lt. Velasquez: Your reputation's like that too!  Prepare for a painful, gory 
death!

[Mission ends]

Upper hangar
Vultigard Traffic Department
Afterwards

Dispatcher: You never cease to impress me, Velasquez.

Commander Velasquez: High praise from a guy who finds toilet plungers 
fascinating.

Dispatcher: Now there's technology at its finest!  Now that Glasya's bit the 
dust, though, I guess we can expect another Vulture ultimatum.  I hope they 
don't blow up the city again... I'm just beginning to like it here.

Commander Velasquez: Remind me to have you transferred.

Dispatcher: You wouldn't dare!

Commander Velasquez: You know I would... just to see you piss your pants!

Dispatcher: First rule of good leadership, Vel.  Don't let the power go to 
your head.

Commander Velasquez: Second rule of good leadership.  Don't let some numbnuts, 
dead-headed shit-for-brains dispatcher tell you how to run your department!

Dispatcher: Point taken.  By the way, in case you didn't know, Officer Aibel's 
vanished.  Please tell me it's not another android malfunction!

Commander Velasquez: Get it through your skull, Carl.  I don't have to tell 
you squat.

Director Hyde's office
Vultigard Vulture Command
Later...

Colonel Kovia: I demand an explanation, Doctor Ramses!  Why have you violated 
communication protocols with a sigma-phi security override?  Has the 
shuttlecraft Gamaria left the V.C.I. yet?

Dr. Clive Ramses: Is General Kreel not available?

Colonel Kovia: The general is engaged in more pressing matters!  He has no 
time for your scientific rabble, Doctor.  Nor do I!

Dr. Clive Ramses: Commander Glasya's skid has been destroyed.  The general's 
daughter is dead, Kovia.  Her charred remains were extracted from an ionized 
Vulture II skid.  I'm not a military soldier, Colonel, but I'm quite certain 
the general would give Glasya's death his immediate attention should someone 
care enough to notify him, wouldn't you agree??!

Colonel Kovia: Dead?!
I'm not sure I like your tone, Doctor.  I will notify the general of this 
development myself.  In the meantime, I expect the Gamaria's arrival in 15 
radians... or Glasya's death will be the least of your concerns!  Kovia out.

Dr. Clive Ramses: I hate the military.
You!  How did you get in here!??

Timothy Aibel: Actually, I was aiming for the reactor core.  I don't suppose 
you could take me there?

Dr. Clive Ramses: Do you know who I am?

Timothy Aibel: Doctor Ramses.  The original, I presume.

Dr. Clive Ramses: Without me, you'd be nothing but a blueprint, my artificial 
friend.  After all, it was I who provided Vectorbot with the biosynthetic 
grafting matrix.  I suppose, in a twisted sense, I'm your father.

Timothy Aibel: Like hell.  You stole the genetic material of a dead T.D. 
officer and turned it into a Vulture weapon.  I protect Sechians, Doctor.  I 
don't destroy them.

Dr. Clive Ramses: Sentimental rubbish!  I see you've adapted my 
transmoleculizer!  Yet another one of my masterful inventions!  I suppose now 
you realize how important I am... and how irreplaceable.

Timothy Aibel: That is why you must be destroyed, Doctor.  You and this entire 
facility.

Dr. Clive Ramses: I don't think so.  You see, I'm just another clone... not 
the real Ramses, sorry to say.  As for this facility, you'll need a lot more 
kelonite than your security module provides!

Timothy Aibel: I've undergone a few modifications, Doctor.  I've incorporated 
the kelonite modules of all nine surviving androids into my substructure!

Dr. Clive Ramses: Very inventive.  Vectorbot built you better than they 
realized.

Timothy Aibel: Time's run out, Doctor.

Dr. Clive Ramses: Patience, my synthetic son.  Given that I'm neither a threat 
nor a menace to you, perhaps you would be inclined to spare my life.  I can 
help you fight this war... even end it.  After all, you'll need me to replace 
the clone which Kane destroyed.

Timothy Aibel: I don't think so.

Dr. Clive Ramses: Destroying me won't prevent General Kreel from destroying 
you.  You'll need my knowledge to fight the general's onslaught!  Kreel will 
certainly retaliate for the death of his daughter, and only I have the 
technology to repel his might!

Timothy Aibel: You're no clone.

Dr. Clive Ramses: I built you!  I gave you life!

Timothy Aibel: You're the real deal.

Dr. Clive Ramses: Without me, you'd be nothing but strands of genetic garbage 
trapped inside a frozen DNA capsule!

Timothy Aibel: Adios, Doc.

Dr. Clive Ramses: Dammit, I gave you life!

[A tall glass-windowed skyscraper glows orange in the cloudy blue sky.  Large 
yellow spots glow at the lower right and upper left corners.]

Deep within the city
The V.C.I. explodes violently...

--------------------------------------
MISSION XX - SOLE SURVIVORS
--------------------------------------

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
The next day

??? (vidcom): Over one hundred civilians, half of them children, were killed 
when a T.D. bomb ripped through a daycare facility inside Vultigard's V.C.I. 
this afternoon.  Access to the V.C.I. has been restricted until security teams 
analyze the bomb debris and assess the magnitude of the damage.

Commander Velasquez: Daycare facility, my ass.

??? (vidcom): Sources at Vultnet will not comment on the tragic loss of life, 
but they do insist that the facility will be operational within six weeks.

Commander Velasquez: Not damn likely, you stupid reporter!

??? (vidcom): Security Administrator Craven called the incident a tragedy and 
major political setback.  So far, there has been no retaliation for the 
unprovoked bombing.  However, contacts within the Vulture security alliance 
guarantee that the military is readying its forces for an assault on the 
terrorist headquarters...

Commander Velasquez: Let 'em come.

B.O.B: M-m-maybe we should c-c-consider evac-c-cuation.

Commander Velasquez: Is the ion screen operational yet?

B.O.B.: Y-y-yes.

Commander Velasquez: Then stop shivering.  We've got nothing to worry about.
What the hell...?

[Velasquez turns around and sees two forms materialize behind her.  One is an 
adult, the other is a child holding the adult's hand.  Transcriber's note: For 
some reason, Velasquez is not wearing her T.D. outfit here, nor does she have 
any cybernetic features.  She is wearing a short-sleeved, pearl-colored dress 
skirt with a brown belt that shows her legs.]

Office of General Kreel      Warcruiser 'Scavenger' in orbit...

General Kreel: I've given orders that I'm not to be disturbed!

Colonel Kovia: I thought you'd like to know that the shuttle Velgar has 
arrived with your granddaughter aboard.  Mala's being treated for minor 
abrasions, but at least she's alive.

General Kreel: No thanks to that cyborg!  Because of her, I have to explain to 
my granddaughter why her mother is dead!  I want Velasquez and her kind 
blasted from existence!

Colonel Kovia: Director Craven requests a squadron of Vulture III's to 
reestablish order in Vultigard.  I might also suggest a --

General Kreel: As of now, there is no Vultigard.  Listen to me very carefully, 
Kovia.  My daughter's death cannot be avenged with the destruction of one 
cyborg or one Traffic Department.  The entire world must suffer - such is the 
penalty for defiance!

Colonel Kovia: What is your order?

General Kreel: You will flood the planet's atmospheric envelope with ulonium, 
then ignite the ulonium with ionized vorozine.

Colonel Kovia: That would obliterate all life on the planet!

General Kreel: The global atmosphere would eventually replenish itself... once 
the vorozine dissipates.  Hardly an end to all things...

Colonel Kovia: You would deliberately defy the overlord's command?

General Kreel: The overlord is weak!  Even now, General Talon and others like 
him threaten to overthrow our aging leader!  I will not let a feeble old man 
on the verge of losing his power dictate how I govern my sector!  Execute my 
orders, Commander, before I execute you!

Captain Tol's Office
Vultigard T.D. Center
25 radians later

Director Hyde: I expected better treatment from you, Velasquez.  After 
everything I risked to bring Ian here...

Commander Velasquez: You risked nothing, and you didn't come here for Ian's 
benefit either.

Director Hyde: Your keen cyborg optics see right through me, Velasquez.  
Nevertheless, as I am decidedly claustrophobic, I ask to be released.

Commander Velasquez: Well, we could always use the extra cell... or maybe I 
should just vape you right here and now?

Director Hyde: For the boy's sake, I vote that we ignore that suggestion.  
Remember who saved your son, Officer Velasquez.  I only ask for safe passage 
outside of the city.

Commander Velasquez: You expect me to grant you safe passage because you saved 
my son's life?!  Welcome to the world of reality, Director.  In case you've 
forgotten, my job is to stamp out shitheads like you!

Director Hyde: Your gratitude is heart-warming, Velasquez.  I'm sure all 
Sechian parents make such charming role models!

Commander Velasquez: I don't need this shit, Hyde.  When I do need something, 
I'll put you through interrogation.

Director Hyde: When Kreel finds out what you've done, we're all as good as 
dead.  If I may be so bold, I recommend that we get out while the getting's 
good!  Kreel can destroy you, me, your son, and everything from here to 
Vultifar before the evening news... and still find time for dinner!

Commander Velasquez: And naturally you think you can change all that if I let 
you live!  Better start reciting your prayers, Director.

Director Hyde: Did I forget to mention I have a ship waiting?

Screwdriver's Bar and Officer's Lounge
Vultigard T.D. Complex
That evening

Screwdriver: I thought the Vultures destroyed all Sechian mining shuttles.

Commander Velasquez: I thought so too.  Hyde could be full of shit.

Screwdriver: I thought you would have shot him by now.  Why the sudden 
restraint?

Commander Velasquez: That mining shuttle holds damn near twenty people, plus 
cargo.  I have a feeling we're screwed if we stay here much longer!

Screwdriver: I heard Vectorbot has severed all equipment transport to 
Vultigard.

Commander Velasquez: Devornay's a real bastard!  I'd like to stick an atom 
pulverizer up his ass and blow his molecules to the moon!

Screwdriver: Well, that would be quite a sight.

Commander Velasquez: Anyway, I've got nearly thirty officers left on the 
flight roster, about a dozen functional skids, a dumbshit dispatcher who 
thinks he's god's gift to the universe, and a pile of run-down hardware.

Screwdriver: But no room for a robot bartender...

Commander Velasquez: I'm taking B.O.B..  I'll need his security programs to 
interface with the Vulture security net.

Screwdriver: Very wise.  It's not like I'm expecting an over-abundance of 
thirsty clients in the near future, anyway.

Commander Velasquez: We have to shut down the whole complex.  A few moloton 
bombs rigged to the secondary reactor should do it.

Screwdriver: The Vultures won't recover anything but ionized scrapmetal.

Commander Velasquez: That's the idea...

Screwdriver: Well, can I get you one last drink?  Another liquid lubricant, 
perhaps?

Commander Velasquez: Better make it one Selarian Sandripper... to go.
Goodbye, Screwdriver.

[Mission commences.]

[A small complex of four bunker-factory-looking buildings sit on some pavement 
in the middle of the desert.]

Sechian spice-mining station
Dardra 7
After mission

Commander Velasquez: Has anyone tried to start this flying shitbox?

Director Hyde: I assure you, Velasquez.  The shuttle will fly.  It's not 
beautiful, but it works just fine.

B.O.B.: We d-d-do have a p-p-problem, though.

Commander Velasquez: Spill it.

B.O.B.: The sh-sh-ship won't c-c-carry this many people.

Director Hyde: Unless we sacrifice a vehicle or two, I'm afraid at least ten 
of your personnel will have to stay behind.

[Velasquez shoots Hyde in the stomach with her laser pistol.]

Commander Velasquez: Since Hyde isn't with us anymore, I may as well make some 
more cutbacks to free up space on that shuttle.  I want Noyce, Killigan, and 
B'Darien kicked off... and dump some of the technical support staff.  If they 
resist, have security shoot them.

B.O.B.: Y-y-yes sir.  Your w-w-wish is my c-c-command!

Commander Velasquez: As for you, you shivering soupcan --

B.O.B.: W-w-what?

Commander Velasquez: You're staying with me.

B.O.B.: Thank g-g-goodness.

Weaponry Bridge     Warcruiser 'Scavenger'    In orbit...

Unspecified Vulture Staff: The planetary atmosphere has been flooded with 
ulonium, Commander.

Colonel Kovia: Status of vorozine torpedoes?

Unspecified Vulture Staff: Vorozine torpedoes are ready to fire, Colonel.

Colonel Kovia: Good.
Fire.

[The Scavenger floats in space as a large green explosion--from Seche--sits in 
the background.]

Seconds later, the atmosphere on Seche burns violently, before all life is 
exterminated from the world, however, the tiny T.D. shuttlecraft escapes...

Weaponry Bridge    Warcruiser 'Scavenger'    In orbit...

Unspecified Vulture Staff: Colonel, short-range sensors have detected a 
Sechian mining shuttle moving through the planet's upper gravity band.

Colonel Kovia: Heading where?

Unspecified Vulture Staff: The vessel is headed towards Kolor, Commander, one 
of the moons.

Colonel Kovia: Scan inside.

Unspecified Vulture Staff: Negative, Commander.  Vorozine distortions are 
impairing our ship's scanning field.

Colonel Kovia: Relay a coded transmission to all Kolorian bases.  Inform them 
of the shuttle's arrival.

Continued...

--------------------------------------
EPISODE GAMMA
--------------------------------------

[The mining shuttle, a stream-lined plane-like vehicle, floats over a swirling 
purple and black sea.  The sky is yellow and green.]

In a small shuttle
Above Kolor, Seche's moon...

Lt. Striker: We've crossed into Kolor's dark side, Captain.

Cpt. Velasquez: Keep this crap-can close to the ground.  The moon's natural 
surface magnetosphere should inhibit the Vulture's radar.

Lt. Striker: Aye, captain.

Lt. Koth: Sssensorsss detect ssseveral ion trailsss moving acrosss lunar 
landssscape.  Probably ssskidsss.

Cpt. Velasquez: What's our distance from Vultkolor?

Lt. Koth: Sssixty kilovartsss

Cpt. Velasquez: Conduct a topographic sweep for Sechian mining facilities, and 
scan the frontier for power signatures.  We need a base with a landing 
station.  Something that's been shut down or abandoned.

Lt. Koth: Aye, captain.

40 radians later...

B.O.B.: D-d-damn T.D. p-p-pilots!  Where d-d-did they learn to f-f-fly?

Cpt. Velasquez: What did we hit?

Lt. Striker: We had a power surge in the shuttle's port thruster.  Sign of 
age.  Nothing serious.

Shuttle cargo bays
A few radians later

Lt. Nemecek: I'm tired of following orders from that cyborg.

Lt. Junior Ikona: What the hell are we doing out here?  This is nuts, Nem!  
This place ain't safe!  Damn Vultures are crawlin' all over the damn galaxy!  
They vaped the whole damn planet!

Lt. Nemecek: Get a grip, Ikona.  We've got to stay cool about this and think 
it out.  If we stay, the Vultures'll be using us to wipe their butts!  And you 
know Velasquez - she doesn't give a damn about anyone... especially us.

Lt. Junior Ikona: Velasquez don't care about nothin', Nem!  She vaped Noyce 
and Killigan like some kinda' scum!  Geez, Nem - I damn well liked Killigan!

Lt. Nemecek: I say we snag this ship and get the hell out of here.

Lt. Junior Ikona: Good thinkin'!  Let's make like a bug and bug out!

In the shuttle's cockpit
Meanwhile...

Lt. Striker: I've found what looks like an abandoned kolorite mine.  Heading 
0-2-7, distance 6.61 kilovarts.

Cpt. Velasquez: What about a landing platform?

Lt. Striker: There's one in the side of a crater about 10 hectads from the 
mining station.  The two are linked by an access corridor.

Cpt. Velasquez: Any power emanations?

Lt. Striker: Nada.

Cpt. Velasquez: Life signs?

Lt. Striker: Zero.  The landing pit looks damaged but I think we can land on 
it.

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't think.  You'll burst your brain cell.

Lt. Striker: Don't you mean brain cells?

Cpt. Velasquez: You mean you have more than one?

Lt. Striker: Very funny.

Cpt. Velasquez: Koth - chart the surrounding landscape, then land this piece 
of crap.  We've got a base to secure.

Lt. Koth: Yesss, captain.

Vulture Warcruiser 'Scavenger'     In orbit above Seche    Later...

Commander Kovia: We've received a zeta-priority transmission from the capital 
city on Vulturnus.  The message is scrambled by a level one security cipher.  
I thought you'd like to know.

General Kreel: Don't think, Kovia.  It worries me.  Divert the transmission to 
my quarters, and this time, secure the channel.

Commander Kovia: Secure it yourself!

--------------------------------------
MISSION I - DARK SIDE
--------------------------------------

[Abandoned Mining Station - a road runs back and forth, with a tunnel going in 
and down into the purple and black lunar surface sea]

Later...
In an abandoned mining station...

B.O.B.: Doesn't l-l-look like m-m-much.

Cpt. Velasquez: You're one to talk.   Has beta-team completed its security 
sweep of the station's sublevels?

B.O.B.: Those l-l-levels have b-b-been flooded with k-k-kolorite.

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't care if they've been flooded with sewage.  Tell those 
shitheads to use an ion dispersion screen if they have to.  Where's Striker?

B.O.B.: L-L-Level two, w-w-with Officer N-N-Nemecek.

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't let those two idiots blow up the power systems trying to 
patch the security grid!  And while you're down there, get the damned heat 
turned on!  And tell Carl to prepare my Stiletto for recon duty.

B.O.B.: Recon d-d-duty?

Cpt. Velasquez: I'm taking the first patrol.  Tell Sova and Nemecek they'll be 
flying a second patrol to survey the Western trenches in 85 radians.  I'll 
leave you to supervise repairs.  Clear?

B.O.B.: I have to t-t-tell you s-s-something about N-N-Nemecek...

Cpt. Velasquez: Save it.  I've got enough on my mind.  And B.O.B. - 

B.O.B.: Y-Y-Yes?

Cpt. Velasquez: Fix that damn stutter!

B.O.B.: I'll t-t-try.

Mining Station Hangar
25 radians later...

Dispatcher: The security grid's still down, Vel.  Striker says he can have it 
operational in three years, if we're lucky.

Cpt. Velasquez: Give Striker three hours.  If he's not done by then, shoot him.

Dispatcher: Hey, my job's to give pilots a hard time, remember?  Killing 
pilots is your department.

Cpt. Velasquez: Watch it, Carl.

Dispatcher: Sorry, but you really picked one hell of a place for a picnic, 
Vel.  All we need now are some insects.

Cpt. Velasquez: I'm talking to one.

Dispatcher: Cruel, Vel.  I just hope I remembered to replace the ion 
stabilizer on that skid of yours.  Be a shame if the old one suddenly falls 
off!

Cpt. Velasquez: Listen, you sack of shit - 

Dispatcher: Oops.  Looks like our comm-link is breaking up!  We can discuss 
this over dinner sometime.  Dispatcher out.

[Mission commences.]

Mining Station Hangar
After mission

Dispatcher: Vel, you'd better get up here, pronto.

Cpt. Velasquez: My name isn't Vel.  Call me captain, dickwad!

Dispatcher: If you insist.  Captain Dickwad, will you please return to the 
station immediately?

Cpt. Velasquez: You really piss me off.

Dispatcher: Well here's something else that'll piss you off.  Nemecek, Ikona, 
and several other T.D. officers have commandeered the mining shuttle.

Cpt. Velasquez: What?!  Those k'r'roc shit bastards!  Station an armed crew 
inside the hangar bay, and don't let the shuttle leave!  I'll be there in five 
radians.

[Mining Station Command Deck - an enclosed circle of a desk rests in the 
middle of a dark room on a blue floor.  A green chair sits in the middle of 
the circle desk.  (Transcriber's Note: So you have to either climb over the 
desk or under it to sit in the chair?)]

Mining Station Command Deck
5 radians later...

Cpt. Velasquez: Is the shuttle still on the landing platform?

Lt. Striker: Who knows?  The stupid security cameras aren't working properly, 
communications are screwed, and I haven't a clue what the hell's going on out 
there!

Cpt. Velasquez: Where's our tech crew?

Lt. Striker: You left them on the planet, remember?

Cpt. Velasquez: Shut up, or I'll send you back to get them.

Lt. Nemecek: Well, if it isn't captain cyborg.  We're getting the hell off of 
this rock, Velasquez, and there's nothing you can do to stop us.

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't come to me expecting a good-bye kiss, Nemecek.  The 
least you'll get is a blaster to choke on.

Lt. Nemecek: You may think you've got the whole Vulture empire by the balls, 
Velasquez.  I just wish I could see them vape your vanadium ass!

Cpt. Velasquez: Does this station have any offensive systems?

Lt. Striker: Zilch.

Lt. Nemecek: You'll never stop us, cyborg.

Lt. Junior Ikona: We're buggin' out, Cap'n, and we're takin' anyone who'll 
come with us.

Lt. Nemecek: Halo, Tirion, Jalkeus - none of them want to die fighting for 
you, Velasquez.  No one's that stupid.

Cpt. Velasquez: You are, if you think you can get anywhere in that obsolete 
piece of shit.  Face it Nemecek.  You're as dumb as dirt.

Lt. Nemecek: Vaya con dios, Captain.  Give General Kreel our regards.

Cpt. Velasquez: Get the hell of my moon.

Lt. Striker: Very diplomatic.

Cpt. Velasquez: I didn't ask for you opinion.

Lt. Striker: There is a bright side, of course.  Just about everyone who hates 
you is dead or gone.

Mining Station Command Deck
Next day

Cpt. Velasquez: I want full reports from all officers assigned to recon.  We 
need to determine how much traffic moves through the area before we can begin 
identifying strategic targets.

Lt. Striker: The communications are working, sort of.  It might interest you 
to know that we've picked up a coded transmission from a Vulture science 
outpost near the Kaluvus crater.

Cpt. Velasquez: And?

Lt. Striker: There's been an accident.  The outpost has requested an emergency 
shipment of medical supplies and trytherozine.  A convoy is leaving from 
Vultikolor within the hour.

Cpt. Velasquez: Find out all you can about the shipment, then instruct Sova 
and Kellogg to meet me in the Hornet bay.  What's the status of our security 
grid?
Damn power regulators!

Lt. Striker: You were saying something about the security grid?

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't want excuses, Striker.  I don't care if you blow every 
power circuit in the station!  I want that grid operational in one hour.

Lt. Striker: Ensign Trace is handling power regulation.

Cpt. Velasquez: Trace couldn't handle his penis if he had ten fingers on each 
hand!  Let B.O.B. monitor communications - I want you to oversee power 
regulation from now on.  And take Ian with you.  Show him how to fuse a power 
emitter.

Lt. Striker: Ian?

Cpt. Velasquez: My son, you idiot.

Lt. Striker: Aye, captain.

Cpt. Velasquez: Have you completed the sub-level sweep?

Lt. Koth: Yesss, and we've found sssomething interesssting.

--------------------------------------
MISSION II - TARGET PRACTICE
--------------------------------------

Cpt. Velasquez: Who are you?  How did you get in here?

Jekar: I am Jekar.

Lt. Koth: We found him and sssix other Vulturesss on sssub-level two.

Jekar: We were not expecting visitors from the planet.

Cpt. Velasquez: Our station scans detected no life signs.

Lt. Koth: It'sss posssible that kolorite gasss wasss inhibiting our 
sssensssorsss.

Cpt. Velasquez: Take him to a detention chamber.

Lt. Koth: What about the othersss?

Cpt. Velasquez: That depends.  Prepare this one for interrogation.  I'll 
decide what to do to the others once I've destroyed that medical convoy.

Jekar: Please do not hurt us.  We intend you no harm.

Cpt. Velasquez: What did you say?

Jekar: We intend you - 

Cpt. Velasquez: Look out that window, you bald-headed bastard!  You've 
destroyed everything!  There's nothing left for you to harm!  Say something 
like that to my face again, and I swear I'll kill you!  I'll blow your goddamn 
head off!
Get this piece of slime out of my office!

Mining Station Hangar
25 radians later...

Dispatcher: The Vulture medics should be in range by now, Vel, but there's no 
way to know for sure.

Cpt. Velasquez: Any information on the status of the Vulture outpost?

Dispatcher: Some sort of thermal explosion.  Apparently they were drilling 
into a subterranean magma layer when a theronide drilling tank blew up.  
Twelve people dead, twenty-five wounded.

Cpt. Velasquez: They're not people.  They deserve to die.

Dispatcher: Your opinion.

Cpt. Velasquez: It's the only one that matters.  Now clear me for departure.

Dispatcher: This isn't a T.D. hangar, Vel.  I can't keep you here - even if I 
wanted to.

Cpt. Velasquez: I'll bear that in mind.

[Mission commences.]

Mining Station Hangar
After mission...

Dispatcher: There's been an accident, Vel.

Cpt. Velasquez: Forget to put on your diaper again?

Dispatcher: One of the power emitters ruptured inside the station subterminus. 
Trace is dead, and three other officers are critically wounded.

Cpt. Velasquez: What about Ian?  

Dispatcher: He's in the med facility.  Dr. Livid wants to see you, immediately.

Medical Room 
5 radians later

[Transcriber's Note: It looks just like the one on T.D.]

Dr. Diva Livid: Trace was dead on arrival.  An ionic energy discharge blew a 
hole right through his chest.  Kaufler was in the conduit when the explosion 
occurred.  The fusion surge disintegrated him.

Cpt. Velasquez: What about my son?

Dr. Diva Livid: He'll survive.  His radiation burns were minor, but I haven't 
finished treating him.  Striker's the same.  I'm not so optimistic about 
Trixle.  I don't have the radiation equipment I need to stabilize her 
condition.

Cpt. Velasquez: Keep me appraised of her status, Doctor.  I can't afford to 
lose any more pilots.

Dr. Diva Livid: I'm sorry if the explosion put a crimp in your plans for 
conquest!  Your brief flicker of compassion is noted, Captain, for all the 
good it will do my patients!

Cpt. Velasquez: Do you have a point to make, Doctor?

Dr. Diva Livid: Just thinking about destroying those medical trucks was 
stupid!  Your obsession with killing Vultures supersedes any concern you have 
for the rest of us, and that appalls me.

Cpt. Velasquez: Killing Vultures is our business, Doctor.  No one else can do 
it.  Besides, there was no way to recover those med supplies intact!

Dr. Diva Livid: That's an excuse.  I could have used those medical supplies, 
Velasquez... and you tried to destroy them!

Cpt. Velasquez: What you need, Doctor, is a shot of reality!

Dr. Diva Livid: What I need are bandages, hyposyringes, plasma infusers... not 
some blast-happy biolubricated bovine-brained brigadier blowing away our best 
chances of survival!  We are not machines that can be replaced!

Cpt. Velasquez: I haven't got time to argue, Doctor.  You have a job to do, 
and so do I.  Let me know when you've completed the radiation treatments on my 
son.

Dr. Diva Livid: Be thankful your son's injuries weren't more severe.  He 
could've died today, no thanks to you.  At this rate, you, me and B.O.B. will 
be the only ones left in this forsaken department!

Cpt. Velasquez: I wouldn't count on survivors, Doctor - if there are any.

[Vulture Warcruiser 'Nightmare' -- Looks just like the Scavenger, but in a 
different pose, floating out in space.  It's got two long contoured 
blade-wings that stretch out, and a head that crests into two parts.]

Vulture Warcruiser 'Nightmare'
On course to Kolor
Later...

Vulture Technicians: General - sensors detect a small vessel entering our long 
range tactical grid.

General Talon: Load all weapons.  Identify the ship.
Well?!

Vulture Technicians: Unarmed shuttle craft with low-yield ion screens.

General Talon: Not much of a target.  Activate the ion dispersion and fire.  
Disable the shields with a low-level primary spread, then finish them off with 
a high-level directed ion beam.

Meanwhile...
In the shuttle's cockpit

Lt. Junior Ikona: Our shields just went dead!

Lt. Nemecek: Yeah, I noticed.

Lt. Junior Ikona: Say, Nem, Isn't that a Vulture ship?

Lt. Nemecek: No, asswipe, it's the pizza delivery boy!

General Talon: Excellent shot.  Proceed on course to Kolor.

--------------------------------------
MISSION III
--------------------------------------

[Conversion Tanks -- four yellow-green cylinders hang from the ceiling.  They 
look like suspended animation chambers]

Conversion Tanks
Next evening

Cpt. Velasquez: First question.  Someone removed the powerflux inhibitor from 
the primary fusion conduit in sub-level one.  Were you responsible for this 
act of sabotage?

Jekar: It was... unintentional.  We needed the inhibitor to repair another 
damaged conduit on sub-level two.

Cpt. Velasquez: Unintentional?  Maybe I should unintentionally flood your 
chamber with concentrated kolorite!  The experience would be quite... 
excruciating... for you, anyway.

Jekar: The intention was not to cause injury.

Cpt. Velasquez: You lying slug!  Your deliberate sabotage killed three of my 
officers and injured my son!

Jekar: I am sorry for your son... and your men.

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't want your sympathy, Vulture.

Jekar: Contact Vice-Director Selat in Vultkolor.  He will tell you what we 
are... and why we are here.

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't know what you are.  You're fly-meat.  And frankly, 
scumsucker, I don't give a splattered shit why you're here.

Jekar: You must believe me.  We are not what we seem to be.

Cpt. Velasquez: You said your name was Jekar.  What is your military rank and 
current assignment?

Jekar: I have no rank.  I am not with the military.

Cpt. Velasquez: Then why do you take orders from Vice-Director Selat?

Jekar: He is one of us.

Cpt. Velasquez: Actually, I figured he was president of the Let's All Be 
Friends Forever Club, and he sent you here to give us free membership and the 
keys to Happyland!
But let's just cut the crap, Jekar - I haven't got the time.

Jekar: We were not expecting your arrival.  We came here to hide.  We are not 
your enemy, Captain Velasquez.  Talk to Vice-Director Selat, and he will 
explain what we are.

Cpt. Velasquez: But I already know who you are, Jekar.  You're a sniveling, 
two-faced, intellect-deprived Vulture vermin who's quickly running out of 
lifetime.  Keeping that in mind, I want to know everything you know about 
Vulture operations on Kolor.

Jekar: I know nothing about Vulture operations on Kolor.

Cpt. Velasquez: I see.  Care for a drink of reactor coolant?  Koth, do it.
Time's running out, Jekar.  You'll be dead as dogshit in a matter of minutes.

B.O.B.: Communications is picking up a scrambled transmission.

Cpt. Velasquez: Another medical convoy?

B.O.B.: No.  This one's sent via coded sigma-wave... directly to this facility.

Jekar: It's Vice-Director Selat!  Only he knows we're here.

Mining Station Command Deck
Later...

Vice-Director Selat: Jekar, I have left Vultkolor and will be arriving by 
hovertruck in twenty vulracs.  Please prepare the facility for my arrival.

Jekar: Everything is in order, Vice-Director.

Vice-Director Selat: The leaders of the empire are converging on Vultkolor.  
Generals Talon and Marilith are expected to arrive within eight vulracs.  
We must begin the infiltration sooner than expected.

Jekar: We are prepared, Vice-Director.

Vice-Director Selat: Twenty vulracs, then.

Cpt. Velasquez: A convincing performance, Jekar.  Almost brought tears to my 
eyes.  Good thing I didn't have to blow your brains out to get it!

Station Command Deck
25 radians later

Lt. Koth: Captain Velasssquez, I've brought Vice-Director Selat.

Cpt. Velasquez: It's about bloody well time.  Send him in and wait outside.

Vice-Director Selat: I'm not the monster you think I am, Captain.  I am not a 
Vulture and neither is Jekar or the others.

Cpt. Velasquez: What are you then?  More rejects from the Ramses' cloning lab? 
Ousted members of the I-Wanna-Be-A-Krishna society?

Vice-Director Selat: I'm afraid you perplex me, Captain.

Cpt. Velasquez: A bent hanger would perplex you.

Vice-Director Selat: We are silatic life forms.  Amorphic aliens that change 
appearance by absorbing, imitating and mutating DNA strands of other creatures.

Cpt. Velasquez: What a load of k'r'roc shit.

Vice-Director Selat: Our race was conquered by the Vultures, much like yours.

Cpt. Velasquez: Look around, vapor-brain!  Do we look conquered to you?

Vice-Director Selat: Survivors of my world were scattered throughout the 
universe.  I came here, insinuated myself into the Vulture's echelon of 
command, and now I use my influence to help others of my kind assimilate into 
Vulture society... by giving them DNA to absorb.

Cpt. Velasquez: Nice sci-fi story.  What do I look like, a destitute network 
producer?

Vice-Director Selat: Captain, please!  In less than twelve tamareks, the 
overlord himself will set foot on Kolor.  The warcruiser Vortex is 
transporting him from the Vulture homeworld.  The cruisers Nightmare and 
Malevolence have already entered the Sechian system, enroute to Kolor.

Cpt. Velasquez: I fail to see where this is leading.  Get to the point, Selat!

Vice-Director Selat: We intend to replace the overlord with a silatic 
duplicate, once we acquire a sufficient sample of his DNA.

B.O.B.: Sorry to interrupt, sir, but I've interfaced with the Vulture security 
net in Vultkolor.

Cpt. Velasquez: What have you learned?

B.O.B.: Secnet has dispatched several armed skids to sweep the trenches for 
intruders.

Vice-Director Selat: Don't look so surprised, Captain.  What do you expect 
when you destroy a Vulture medical convoy?

Cpt. Velasquez: I expect silatic shitheads like you to keep their mouths shut.

B.O.B.: Silatic what?

Cpt. Velasquez: Not you, buckethead.

B.O.B.: S-s-sorry.  By the way, there's a large consignment of crystalline 
bluerite moving through the trenches towards Vultkolor.

Cpt. Velasquez: Instruct Kalen and Selenar to ready three Hornets for 
departure.  The convoy won't get far.

Vice-Director Selat: You cannot risk any further provocation!  This will only 
jeopardize yourselves and our operation!

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't give a damn about your operation, Selat.

Vice-Director Selat: You cannot fight violence with more violence, Captain.  
The only hope for peace is -- 

Cpt. Velasquez: Spare me the 'good samaritan' speech!  I'm not playing for 
peace!  
Koth, escort this pile of Vulture vomit to detention.  If he resists, vape him.

[Mission commences.]

Mining Station Hangar
After mission...

Dispatcher: Trixle's dead, Vel.  Died of radiation poisoning at 0850 hours.

Cpt. Velasquez: What about Ian?

Dispatcher: Diva says he'll live.  Striker, too.

Cpt. Velasquez: Good.  When Striker's finished jacking off, tell him to repair 
that fused conduit -- and tell him to keep his microscopic mind on what he's 
doing!  I want Dr. Livid to perform a genetic scan on the Vulture Jekar.  
Inform me when the scan is complete.

Dispatcher: Only if you say please!

Cpt. Velasquez: How'd you like your face turned inside out?!

Station Command Deck
Later...

Cpt. Velasquez: Damn headaches are getting bad!

B.O.B.: Sorry to disturb you, Captain, but a large Vulture ship has entered 
our detection grid.

Cpt. Velasquez: We've been over this a thousand times, you duranium dildo!  
Shut down all power systems and alert the recon officers on patrol!

B.O.B.: Is there something wrong, cap --

Cpt. Velasquez: Just go to hell!
What the hell...?  What's that passing over the station?
Damn.  That's one big ship!  How in hell am I supposed to deal with it?

Ric Velasquez: Don't let size intimidate you, Marta.  The bigger they are, the 
easier they blow up.

Cpt. Velasquez: Father?!

Ric Velasquez: Ever killed a bulgar?  Damn things are ten feet tall, but a 
six-inch blade through the thumb kills one instantly!

Cpt. Velasquez: How can I avenge your death... even a million deaths?

Ric Velasquez: You could start by killing those shitheads in detention!

Cpt. Velasquez: I want them to be Vultures... I want to inflict pain on them.  
To make them suffer for what they did to you... Satair... to everyone.

Ric Velasquez: That's my little girl.  Vape those Vulture cowards!

Cpt. Velasquez: I'm not your little girl!  Go to hell!

Commander Satair: Don't become one of them, Velasquez.  You're still more 
Sechian than cyborg.  Remember that.  If the woman inside the machine is lost, 
then all is lost.

Cpt. Velasquez: You're ghosts!  You're not real!  Get out of my head!

Commander Satair: You cannot defeat an empire.

Cpt. Velasquez: They must pay for what they've done!

Screwdriver: What you need is a Selarian sandripper to clear the head.  Think, 
Velasquez!  If you cannot kill a billion Vultures, what can you do?

Cpt. Velasquez: I said go to hell!  Go to... arrrrgh!

Medical Room
3 hours later...

Cpt. Velasquez: What the hell am I doing here?

Dr. Diva Livid: We found you passed out on the observation deck floor.

Cpt. Velasquez: I have to speak with Vice-Director Selat -- now!

Dr. Diva Livid: You're not going anywhere, Captain.  I've surrounded this 
table with a stasis field and administered a dose of letopterol to prevent you 
from killing yourself.

Cpt. Velasquez: I'll kill you if you don't release me this instant!  Your 
medicine is neither requested nor required, Doctor!  Now let me do my damn job!

Dr. Diva Livid: I'm sure Koth can manage things for the time being.

Cpt. Velasquez: That reptilian reject couldn't manage a luggage store!

Dr. Diva Livid: Then let me put this to you bluntly.  You've suffered a 
cerebral hemorrhage -- a big one.  If this should happen again, cyborg or not, 
you'll be dead as desert dust.

--------------------------------------
MISSION IV - MORTALITY RATE
--------------------------------------

Medical Room
Later...

Cpt. Velasquez: I have no intention of dropping dead, doctor.

Dr. Livid: A pity.

Cpt. Velasquez: Did you perform a genetic scan on Jekar?

Dr. Livid: Your single-mindedness astonishes me, Captain, but I haven't got 
time for a discussion right now.

Cpt. Velasquez: Answer me, doctor, before I have you crammed inside a kolorite 
tank!

Dr. Livid: Genetically, Jekar's a Vulture.  There, satisfied?  Now lie there 
and be quiet.

Cpt. Velasquez: What else?

Dr. Livid: There were some minor genetic mutations in his chromazoa.  That 
suggests one of two possibilities.  Either Jekar's a lab-bred mutant, or a 
coalescent entity has replicated the real Jekar with virtual genetic 
perfection.

Cpt. Velasquez: I want to see Selat.

Dr. Livid: Sorry, Captain, but that's out of the question.

At the conversion tanks
Later...

Vice-Director Selat: You must let me out of here!  I must return to Vultkolor 
before I'm missed!  Detaining me here only threatens the success of our 
operation!

Lt. Koth: I do not comply with Vulture ssscum, Ssselat.

Vice-Director Selat: I am not a Vulture!

B.O.B.: Dr. Livid's genetic scan would seem to support his claim.

Lt. Koth: Perhapsss... but I've never trusted doctors, either.

Vice-Director Selat: It is vital that I speak with Captain Velasquez.  Can you 
arrange it?

Lt. Koth: Velasssquez no longer commands thisss facility.  You may addresss 
your concernssss to me.

Vice-Director Selat: I see.

B.O.B.: Sir, sensors have just detected enemy skids entering our detection 
grid.

Vice-Director Selat: Director Zargon has probably dispatched radar trucks to 
scan the trenches for signs of intruders.  If they detect even the slightest 
power emanations coming from this base...

Lt. Koth: Tell Ssstriker to deactivate the ssstation's primary power emitters.

B.O.B.: Shouldn't we dispatch some skids... to find the trucks before they 
find us?

Lt. Koth: Do as I ssssay before I blassst you to bitsss.

The power is cut...

Dr. Diva Livid: The power went out?!  Shit!  The stasis field!

Lt. Velasquez: Velasquez to security control... what the hell is going on?  
What happened to the power?

B.O.B.: Captain V-V-Velasquez!  I thought y-y-you were --

Lt. Velasquez: Out of commission?  Don't count on it, hovernuts!

B.O.B.: B-b-boy, this is a relief!

Lt. Velasquez: Who cut the main power without my authorization?

B.O.B.: K-K-Koth.  S-S-Sensors detected three V-V-Vulture radar trucks in the 
t-t-trenches.

Lt. Velasquez: How many skids has that snake-skinned simpleton dispatched to 
ionize the trucks?

B.O.B.: Uh, n-n-none, sir.  I t-t-told Koth he should d-d-dispatch some skids, 
b-b-but -- 

Lt. Velasquez: Instruct Sova and Selenar to ready three Hornets for immediate 
departure.  Tell Koth to get his lizard legs off my desk and have Selat and 
Jekar waiting in my office by the time I return.  If they're not there when I 
get back, tell that fork-tongued, fat-headed, ferret-faced flatworm that I'll 
skin him alive!

B.O.B.: The d-d-doctor said you sh-shouldn't -- 

Lt. Velasquez: Don't make me pull your plug!

[Mission]

Mining Station Hangar
After mission...

Dispatcher: You know, Vel, you amaze me sometimes.

Cpt. Velasquez: A paperclip would amaze you, slimebrain.

Dispatcher: Need I remind you that six hours ago you suffered a brain 
hemorrhage?  If this keeps up, you'll be killing Vultures long after you're 
dead.

Cpt. Velasquez: I have no intention of dying just yet.

Dispatcher: Well, if it's not too much trouble, Dr. Livid wants to see you.  
She's more than a bit concerned about your health right now.

Cpt. Velasquez: Tell her to jump in a crater.

Dispatcher: And have my face ripped off?  Sorry, Vel, but you'll have to tell 
her yourself.  Of course, I know a way guaranteed to cure almost any ailment.  
I like to think of it as the 'hands-on' medication.

Cpt. Velasquez: I'd rather screw a deckplate!

Vulture Warcruiser 'Scavenger'
In orbit above Kolor
Later...

General Kreel: When are the other generals expected to arrive?  Tell me before 
I have you shot.

Commander Osyluth: My lord, the 'Nightmare' is due to arrive in eight hours.  
The 'Malevolence' has just passed the inner rim planet of Nossos and should 
reach orbit in two days.

General Kreel: What about General Orlok's ship?

Commander Osyluth: The 'Vortex' has just entered the system.  We expect its 
arrival in nine days.

General Kreel: Send a transmission to the 'Scavenger' and instruct Commander 
Kovia to move the ship into high orbit around Kolor.  I want General Talon 
held in space for as long as possible.

Commander Osyluth: Yes, my lord.

General Kreel: Have your forces located the Sechian renegades yet?

Commander Osyluth: No, my lord.  We have not yet verified the presence of 
Sechian renegades in the trenches.

General Kreel: A Sechian mining shuttle was detected leaving the planet's 
atmosphere prior to global sterilization.  Our scans confirm it departed from 
the Dardra scrape in the northeastern quadrisphere.  Do not tell me you can't 
find any Sechians in the trenches, Commander!  They are there!

Commander Osyluth: The shuttle which landed on Kolor has since departed for 
deep space, my lord.  Perhaps the Sechians merely picked up supplies and left. 
Security believes that a splinter faction may be responsible --

General Kreel: I am not asking for an opinion, Commander Osyluth!  Even if I 
wanted one, which I don't, I wouldn't consider asking an idiot like you!

Commander Osyluth: Of course not, my lord.

General Kreel: I don't want to hear any more about splinter factions!  I want 
those Sechians found!  I want them ionized before the other generals arrive.  
If these Sechians continue to be a nuisance, Commander, I will have you and 
your entire squad jettisoned into space!  Do I make myself clear?

Commander Osyluth: Crystal clear, my lord.

Station Detention Cells
Later...

Vice-Director Selat: It is imperative that I return to Vultkolor at once.

Cpt. Velasquez: If I let you go, I risk violating the security of this 
station.  Your ability to deceive others has gotten you this far, Selat.  
Revealing our location to Director Zargon would certainly help to cement your 
position within Vulture chain of command.  Don't think for one minute that I 
trust you with my life!

Vice-Director Selat: Surely you're convinced by now that I am not a Vulture!

Cpt. Velasquez: You may have convinced Dr. Livid, but I'm not some witless 
witch-doctor.  Dr. Livid's genetic scan hasn't convinced me of anything.  
You'd better get used to this station, Vice-Director, because I'm not about to 
release you from it.

Vice-Director Selat: Then our mission has ended in failure.  Zargon's forces 
will eventually find us, and the last remnants of two proud cultures will be 
destroyed forever.

--------------------------------------
MISSION V - MINE TO DESTROY
--------------------------------------

Station Command Deck
Next morning

Cpt. Velasquez: Where did you get that Vulture helmet?  Stop playing with it!

Ian Velasquez: One of the Vultures gave it to me.  I wanna keep it.

Cpt. Velasquez: I said put it down.

Ian Velasquez: Mom, is it okay if I talk to Jekar?

Cpt. Velasquez: Stay away from him.

Ian Velasquez: But he's not a Vulture.  He said so.  He says he's from far 
away and that he looks like a Vulture to trick the other Vultures, but that 
he's not really a Vulture at all.

Cpt. Velasquez: What else did Jekar tell you?

Ian Velasquez: That he's a blob.

Cpt. Velasquez: Is that all?

Ian Velasquez: Jekar says he's gonna turn into the biggest Vulture of all!  
Jekar says he's gonna make the other Vultures not fight us anymore.

Cpt. Velasquez: So that's what he says...

Station Detention Cells
Later...

Cpt. Velasquez: How were you planning to explain your absence from Vultkolor 
to Director Zargon?

Vice-Director Selat: Why would such information interest you?

Cpt. Velasquez: Just answer the damn question!

Vice-Director Selat: One of my duties as Vice-Director is to conduct routine 
inspections of the crystalline bluerite mines along the moon's darkside 
frontier.  When production lags, it is within my purview to conduct surprise 
inspections, especially when the frontier is plagued with rumors concerning 
splinter factions.

Cpt. Velasquez: Jekar and the others were simply a ruse.  Whenever you needed 
a reason to leave the city, you ordered them to attack a transport convoy or 
sabotage a bluerite mine.

Vice-Director Selat: More or less.  We never harmed anyone, of course.  Our 
oath of non-violence forbids it.  Jekar and the others would simply make their 
presence known.

Cpt. Velasquez: What's your cover, Selat?

Vice-Director Selat: If I were not your prisoner, Captain Velasquez, I would 
currently be conducting a surprise inspection of a bluerite mining facility, 
searching for possible saboteurs or splinter faction sympathizers.  Under 
normal circumstances, I'd find no evidence of either.

Cpt. Velasquez: What reason would you have to prolong your absence from 
Vultkolor?

Vice-Director Selat: Assuming Director Zargon hadn't guessed my true 
intentions, he might assume I'd found something undesirable during my 
inspection.

Cpt. Velasquez: What if there was an actual incident at the mining station 
during your inspection?  A sabotage attempt, for instance.

Vice-Director Selat: You're not thinking about --

Cpt. Velasquez: Answer the question!

Vice-Director Selat: I would be compelled to take control of the situation and 
report my progress to Director Zargon.

Cpt. Velasquez: Looks like you may get the chance.  Do as I say, 
Vice-Director, and you may just get back to Vultkolor in one piece.

Station Command Deck
25 radians later

Vice-Director Selat: Crystalline bluerite.  Vultkolor relies on excessive 
amounts of this substance to power its particle shield and urion 
pulse-reactors.  The crystal is also manufactured into a gaseous plasma that 
propels the largest Vulture ships.

Cpt. Velasquez: The starcruisers.

Vice-Director Selat: For security reasons, all factories which manufacture 
bluerite are contained within the city.  Only the initial mining occurs 
outside Vultkolor's perimeter.

Station Command Deck
That afternoon

B.O.B.: I've managed to acquire detailed blueprints of the mining station 
Karuvia II from secnet files.

Vice-Director Selat: It's located near the outer ridge of the Karuvius Crater. 
What do you intend to do, Captain?

Cpt. Velasquez: What I do best, Vice-Director.
Have Striker rig a moloton warhead to a loaded kolorite transport.

B.O.B.: Y-y-yes, sir.

Vice-Director Selat: Is violence your only weapon, Captain?

Cpt. Velasquez: It's the only one I need.  I also require your clearance code 
to get that truck inside the station.  Either you give it to me now, or I'll 
send you back to Vultkolor in a vanadium urn.

Mining Station Hangar
25 radians later

Cpt. Velasquez: Tell Striker he's in command until I return.  Sova and I will 
escort the kolorite transport safely to Karuvia II.  When the truck reaches 
its destination, a moloton warhead strapped to the kolorite tanks will blow 
the mining station to bits.

Dispatcher: Good luck, Velasquez.  There's a lot of Vultures out there today.

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't need advice from a dickless dispatcher with the 
brainpower of a dead battery!

Dispatcher: Speaking of batteries, Vel, when was the last time someone 
recharged yours?

Cpt. Velasquez: I'll pretend I didn't hear that.  Once the truck is safely on 
its way, Sova and I will delete any Vultures left in the trenches.  When I 
return, I want this facility ready for evacuation.

Dispatcher: Evacuation?!  But Striker just got the power grid stabilized!

Cpt. Velasquez: Give him a cookie, then tell the shithead to get packing!

[Mission commences.]

Vulture Warcruiser 'Scavenger'
In orbit above Kolor
Later...

General Kreel: What do you mean, destroyed?

Commander Osyluth: Our relay station is no longer receiving a transmission 
from the Karuvia II facility, and we've registered a large kolorite explosion 
in the vicinity.  Several unidentified skids have been detected moving through 
the trenches, but the moon's magnetosphere makes confirmation difficult.

General Kreel: Difficult?!  These irritating pests are Sechians, Commander, 
nothing more!  They want to get our attention by crippling bluerite 
production, and your utter incompetence has allowed them to run rampant in the 
trenches!

Commander Osyluth: Vice-Director Selat reports that a splinter faction has 
taken full responsibility for the attack.  He and his staff managed to escape 
and are scheduled to retur--

General Kreel: I want to see this... Selat.  In the meantime, Commander, you 
will continue your search for the Sechian terrorists!

Commander Osyluth: Yes, my lord.  I will station additional squadrons of skids 
at every bluerite mine in the dark frontier.

General Kreel: You insect-minded imbecile!  The Sechians will anticipate that! 
They have ten, possibly twelve skids available!  They will not risk losing 
their vehicles in a one-sided military confrontation!

Commander Osyluth: My lord, what would you have me do?

General Kreel: If your sensors detected a kolorite explosion, Commander, your 
task is obvious!  Search every kolorite production facility, operational and 
abandoned, within 500 kilovarts of Karuvia II!  The Sechians certainly didn't 
bring the kolorite with them!

Commander Osyluth: I will commence the search immediately, my lord.

General Kreel: You have until General Talon arrives.

[Over a purple and yellow moon (Kolor), two Vulture warcruisers float, facing 
each other]

Above Kolor, two ships circle each other...

Commander Kovia: Arm all weapons and route power to the forward particle 
shield.

Vulture Lt.: Telorite torpedoes armed, Commander.
Urion pulse emitters fully charged as well.

Commander Kovia: Hold position here.  Counter any maneuver the other ship 
makes.

Vulture Lt.: Sir, I'm receiving an uncoded transmission from General Talon's 
ship.

Commander Kovia: Uncoded?!  Engage primary vid conduit!

General Talon: This is no way to greet the next overlord of Vulturnus, 
Commander Kovia.  Lower your shields and let my ship pass!

Commander Kovia: My orders are clear, General.  You will stand down and await 
instructions.

General Talon: I wait for no one, Commander!  I did not travel all the way 
from the Leikos system to be detained by a third-rate ship's commander who's 
twice failed to win a promotion!

Commander Kovia: You one-eyed worm!  If by some remote chance you're named as 
heir to the empire, then I will obey your commands -- not before!  You will 
hold your position here until the other generals arrive.  Otherwise, I will 
execute my orders and scatter your atoms across space!

General Talon: Charming as a Lekosian razorbeetle!  Your threats do not 
frighten me, Kovia.  I have a meeting with General Kreel on Kolor.  Now move 
aside.

Commander Kovia: Make me.

--------------------------------------
MISSION VI - A NEW FACE
--------------------------------------

Station Command Deck
That afternoon

Lt. Striker: Holy Kamoly!

Cpt. Velasquez: Problem, Lieutenant? (Transcriber's Note: Velasquez is wearing 
a Vulture uniform -- she has the purple caret on her head, and an olive-green 
jumpsuit with purple shoulder pads.  Her cybernetic eye is now orange instead 
of green.)

Lt. Striker: Sorry, Captain.  I almost didn't recognize you.

Cpt. Velasquez: Are the transports ready for departure?

Lt. Striker: We've refitted one kolorite transport to hold weapons.  The other 
two are still being modified as personnel carriers.  With the Vice-Director's 
permission, we'll use his truck to transport our medical and tech supplies.

Cpt. Velasquez: That is not the Vice-Director's decision to make, Lieutenant!

Lt. Striker: Sorry, Captain.  I was attempting to have some courtesy.

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't kiss my ass, you simple-minded suck up!  Cram everything 
you can into the kolorite trucks and leave the rest behind!  Vice-Director 
Selat will not be joining us.

Lt. Striker: How will we penetrate the city's defense perimeter?

Vice-Director Selat: I've already given your little robot the necessary 
clearance codes.  There should be no problem.  When you enter Vultkolor, 
proceed directly to the beta quadrant... General Orlok's sector of the city.

Lt. Striker: This General Orlok -- is he a decent man?

Vice-Director Selat: He is sympathetic to our cause, and he has the overlord's 
ear.

Lt. Striker: How does that help us?

Vice-Director Selat: The overlord listens to Orlok, and Orlok wants a peaceful 
end to the strife in our galaxy.

Lt. Striker: Peaceful Vulture sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Cpt. Velasquez: You should know all about morons, Lieutenant.  Speaking of 
morons, tell Koth to release the other silatics in custody and escort them to 
the personnel transports.  Jekar and the others'll be coming with us... as our 
insurance policy.  And tell Dr. Livid to take DNA samples of all personnel for 
future use.

Lt. Striker: Whatever you say, Captain.

Vice-Director Selat: I cannot fathom how you earn their loyalty.

Cpt. Velasquez: I just shoot the disloyal ones.

Vice-Director Selat: I see.  It's not enough you look like a Vulture, you have 
to act --

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't test your luck with me, Selat!  My heart's made of 
metal, and so is my conscience.

Vice-Director Selat: On the subject of DNA, General Orlok has promised to 
bring a tissue sample taken by the overlord's physician.  When the time is 
right, the overlord will be removed and Jekar will take his place.  You see, 
according to Orlok, the overlord is dying.  He is coming here to name his 
successor.

Cpt. Velasquez: So you've conspired with Orlok to eliminate him.  How noble.

Vice-Director Selat: The overlord is already dead, Velasquez.  We must take 
advantage of his misfortune before someone else does.  Traditionally, the new 
overlord is determined by military status.  Four generals are vying for this 
highest honor.  Between them, they've conquered or decimated more than fifty 
civilizations, mine and yours among them.
To keep the peace, each general has been assigned one quadrant of the city.  
Orlok occupies the beta quadrant.  Talon, Marilith, and Kreel command the 
remaining three.  There exists a mutual, if tenuous, concession among the 
generals not to invade each other's territory.
Jekar must be installed before a successor is named.

Cpt. Velasquez: The last thing we need is a genocidal jack-off like Kreel in 
command!

Vice-Director Selat: Exactly.  Jekar will be the perfect facsimile... 
genetically identical to the real overlord, yet perfectly healthy.  Once he is 
installed, Jekar can work with Orlok to establish peaceful relations with 
previously conquered worlds.  None of the other generals are as willing to use 
their power constructively.

Cpt. Velasquez: Or maybe Orlok's as ruthless as they come.  Once he gains 
control of the overlord's empire, what's to keep him from destroying you and 
anyone else who gets in his way?  Has that even occurred to you?!

Vice-Director Selat: We have faith in him.

Cpt. Velasquez: Faith is for desperate people who can't defend themselves.  We 
can.

Vice-Director Selat: Orlok destroyed my world, Captain, in much the same 
fashion as Kreel destroyed yours.  Yet I trust him for reasons I cannot 
explain.  It's easy to hate a mortal enemy, Velasquez, but we silatics aren't 
a hateful race.  Nor do we wish to become one.

Cpt. Velasquez: How pathetic.

Later...

Lt. Striker: We've rigged the power emitters to feed back on themselves as 
soon as someone reactivates the security grid.  That should kill a few 
Vultures!

Cpt. Velasquez: Is there a problem, Lieutenant?

Lt. Striker: No, Captain.  It's just... well...

Cpt. Velasquez: Well what?!

Lt. Striker: I'm not used to seeing you as a Vulture.  Dr. Livid did a good 
job.

Cpt. Velasquez: Excuse me?

Lt. Striker: Uh... green is your color?

Cpt. Velasquez: Come a little closer and say that...

Mining station hangar
25 radians later...

Cpt. Velasquez: Sova will escort the transports safely into Vultkolor using 
the stolen Vulture I skid and Selat's clearance does.  The rest of us will 
have to blast our way past the Vulture patrols.

Lt. Koth: Jussst where is Ssselat?

Cpt. Velasquez: Probably in Vultkolor by now.  Koth, you will lead Hornet wing 
alpha.  I'll lead the Stilettos.  Striker, you're in command of Hornet wing 
beta.  Try not to get your ass blown off!

Lt. Striker: No thanks to you, Captain.  I can barely see outta my right eye.

Cpt. Velasquez: Just keep your other eye open!  No one's stopping to scrape 
you off a trench wall!

Lt. Striker: Thanks for trying to cheer me up.  Next time, don't bother.

[Mission commences.]

Meanwhile, above Kolor...

Vulture Lt.: We're under attack by General Talon's ship!

Commander Kovia: Return fire!  Disable their weapon and propulsion systems!

[Kolor V.C.I. -- A long gray building with reflective windows.  Three convoy 
trucks are parked outside, with one driving down the road.]

Kolor V.C.I. 
A few radians later...

General Kreel: Vice-Director Selat, I presume.  What a pleasure it is to meet 
you at last.  I found your report on the destruction of the Karuvia II mining 
facility... intriguing.  I am eager to learn more about this so-called 
splinter faction which has infested the trenches surrounding Vultkolor.

--------------------------------------
MISSION VII - DEADLY DEFENSE
--------------------------------------

Vice-Director Selat: Where is Director Zargon?

General Kreel: The quessarian silvershark has a most voracious appetite.  If 
he were alive, I'm sure Director Zargon would agree wholeheartedly.  That is, 
if his heart were still whole...

Vice-Director Selat: Then Zargon is...

General Kreel: Sharkmeat.
The face of command in Vultkolor has changed for the better.  From this point 
forward, you will address all matters of concern to me.

Commander Osyluth: Sorry to disturb you, my lord, but several unidentified 
skids have breached the ion barricade.

General Kreel: Activate the negaton defense screens, Commander.  I want the 
intruders obliterated.  Bear in mind the penalty for failure.

Commander Osyluth: The other commanders have been alerted.  We will not fail 
you, my lord.

General Kreel: Your splinter faction, no doubt.

Meanwhile...

Cpt. Velasquez: Vultures are closing in.  Proceed to the coordinates specified 
by your onboard computer systems.  I'll take out the laundry.

Lt. Striker: Need a hand, Captain?

Cpt. Velasquez: Get a brain, Striker.  Velasquez out.

[Mission]

[Mining Station 52-8: Same tunnel as before, but two Hornets are driving out]

Mining Station 52-8
After mission

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't care what that Selarian suitcase says!  I want those 
Stilettos modified to carry more missiles.

B.O.B.: B-b-but we b-b-barely have enough missiles to arm the Hornets!

Cpt. Velasquez: Access secnet and locate the nearest Vulture armory.  We'll 
need extra missiles, what with those stupid negaton fields blocking half the 
streets.

B.O.B.: R-r-raid an ar-ar-armory?!  Y-y-you're kidding, r-r-right?

Cpt. Velasquez: We're also running low on ions.  Tell that lizard-faced lugnut 
to ready three ion trucks -- two of them modified to carry missiles.  Tell him 
I want them ready by 2600 hours!

Medical room
5 radians later...

Cpt. Velasquez: Have you completed the alterations, Doctor?

Dr. Diva Livid: Striker's done.  You'll notice that I even covered up his 
black eye.  Devilin and Sova will have to wait, though.  I've got three 
officers with ion burns who require immediate treatment.

Cpt. Velasquez: Spare me your belaborment, Doctor.  I need Devilin and Sova on 
deck in thirty radians.

Dr. Diva Livid: I'm a doctor, dammit, not a face-painter!  These things take 
time!

Cpt. Velasquez: You have your deadline, doctor.
Koth -- get me a secure channel to Vice-Director Selat's office.  I need to 
know when the other generals are slated to arrive, and where that bastard 
Kreel is.

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

General Kreel: Tell me, Vice-Director.  How do you suppose the Sechians 
acquired the clearance codes to the city's ion barricade?

Vice-Director Selat: I know nothing about Sechians.  I was sent by Director 
Zargon to inspect the Karuvia II mining station.  There was an incident.

General Kreel: Yes, I know.  A very suspicious kolorite explosion.  According 
to your report, you claim the unprovoked attack was committed by a Vulture 
splinter faction?

Vice-Director Selat: That is what I believe.

General Kreel: I do not.  In fact, Vice-Director, I believe you are lying to 
me.  Let me show you what happens to subordinates who lie to me.  
You see, Mala, how easily the nerves respond to pain?
Let's assume for the moment that you, Vice-Director, allowed the Sechians 
access into Vultkolor.  What possible reason could there be for such... 
traitorous behavior?
I'm waiting, Selat.  More pain?

Vice-Director Selat: I know nothing about Sechian infiltrators.  They must 
have allied themselves with Director Zargon.

General Kreel: How convenient that Zargon is dead.  Let me ask a more pointed 
question have you ever, in your worthless lifetime, heard the name Velasquez?  
Marta Louise Velasquez, to be exact?

Vice-Director Selat: No.  I do not know this person of whom you speak.

General Kreel: I've never heard such transparent lies.  Observe, Mala, how 
persisted pain brings the subject closer to death...

[Selat sits in a chair, grimacing and turning away.  He is pinned by two 
insectoid arms near his shoulders.  Two lasers beam green beams into his chest]

Selat writhes in pain...

The Vulture ships continue to circle above Kolor...

Commander Kovia: Damage Assessment!  

Vulture Lt.: Particle screens buckling.  Propulsion and telorite torpedo 
systems inoperative.

Commander Kovia: Discharge forward urion emitters!  Ten-degree dispersion 
field!
What's the status of Talon's ship?

Vulture Lt.: Moderate damage to ship's maneuverability.  Minor hull 
penetration and weapons damage.

Commander Kovia: Send transmission to Vultkolor and alert General Kreel.  
Inform him that Talon has penetrated our blockade.

--------------------------------------
MISSION VIII - SUPERIOR FIREPOWER
--------------------------------------

Kolor V.C.I.
Meanwhile...

Selat's agony continues...

General Kreel: Time's running out, Vice-Director.  As much as I enjoy watching 
you writhe in agony, I've got bigger birds to contend with.

Vice-Director Selat: I do not know anyone named Velasquez!  I do not know 
where the Sechians are!

General Kreel: You have the determination of a trained soldier, Vice-Director. 
But if it comes down to sheer willpower, Selat -- yours against mine -- I 
guarantee you will lose.  I suggest you tell me where the Sechians have hidden 
themselves.
No one can survive the levels of pain I am prepared to inflict upon you.  I 
give you one last chance to confess your treason, Selat, before I reduce your 
mind to ionized mush.  Tell me where the Sechians are hiding!

Mining Station Hangar
25 radians later...

Dispatcher: Selat's not answering our transmission, Vel.  I don't know what it 
means, but I don't like it.  Selat's probably told them everything by now!

Cpt. Velasquez: You don't know k'r'roc shit, Carl.  Discontinue the 
transmission before someone else detects it.  Now, has B.O.B. acquired the 
clearance codes to the Vulture armory?

Dispatcher: They've been programmed into the transport's computers.  Striker 
and the others shouldn't have any trouble getting in.  Getting out's the 
tricky part.  It won't take the Vultures long to realize what's going on.

Cpt. Velasquez: This tank packs enough firepower to blow away half a city 
block.  I think I can handle a few Vultures!

Dispatcher: Be careful with that slug, Vel.  That's no Stiletto you're flying.

Cpt. Velasquez: No shit.  Actually, I thought it was an ice-cream van!

Dispatcher: The class-III's shields can absorb those negaton fields a bit more 
effectively.  Remember though, you're not invincible!

Cpt. Velasquez: Bite your tongue, worm-breath!  Now clear me for departure!

Dispatcher: First be a good girl and blow me a kiss!  

Cpt. Velasquez: I'll blow you away if you don't comply!

Mining Station 52-8
Command deck
Later...

Jekar: You said you wanted to see me?

Cpt. Velasquez: I hear you've been spending time with my son, Ian.

Jekar: Ian and I have been just passing time.

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't care if you were passing wind!  I didn't give you 
permission to be with my son!

Jekar: We look very much alike, you and I.  Yet you distrust me because of my 
appearance.

Cpt. Velasquez: I distrust everyone, Jekar.  But Ian has more important 
lessons to learn than the ones you're teaching him.  You believe that a day 
will come when Vultures will be our friends.  Well, I've got news for you, 
blob-butt!  So long as I possess the will to kill, that day will never come!  
That is the lesson my son must learn.

Kolor V.C.I.
Later that night...

General Kreel: Your ability to withstand pain is remarkable.  And futile.
Your Sechian friends have just raided one of our armories and killed hundreds 
of innocent people.  It would help me immensely to know where these vermin are 
hiding.

Vice-Director Selat: B-b-b-b-bet-bet...

General Kreel: Beta?  You mean the beta quadrant?!  Tell me where!  Where in 
the beta quadrant?
Tell me where, you treacherous pile of shit!

Vice-Director Selat: I... I...

Vulture Lt.: Holy shit!  Selat's... he's... changing form?

General Kreel: Shoot it, you fool!

Vulture Lt.: Yes, sir!

General Kreel: Damn silatics!  The remnants of an extinct race return to 
plague us!  Tell Commander Osyluth to search the beta quadrant.  Keep me 
apprised of his progress.

--------------------------------------
MISSION IX - A GENERAL NUISANCE
--------------------------------------

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

Commander Osyluth: So far, my patrols have been unable to locate the Sechians.

General Kreel: Why doesn't that surprise me?  These Sechians are like 
rugroaches, Commander.  Insidious and persistent.  They scuttle into their 
little hideaways to avoid scrutiny, crawling back out the moment your back is 
turned.  I want those skittering bloodsuckers exterminated!

Commander Osyluth: Somehow, they've found a way to access and decipher coded 
secnet files.  They seem to know our security procedures better than we do.

General Kreel: Then change them!  I don't want excuses, you worm!  I want 
security to pinpoint the invasive access signal and trace these pests to their 
lair!

Commander Osyluth: It will be done, my lord.

General Talon: I hope I'm not intimidating... am I late?

General Kreel: Not late enough...

Mining Station Hangar
Next day

Cpt. Velasquez: B.O.B. says there's a major shipment of crystalline bluerite 
entering the city via the northern corridor.  I intend to take it out.

Dispatcher: Excuse me for asking, but won't that just piss Director Zargon off?

Cpt. Velasquez: B.O.B. doesn't think Zargon's in command anymore.  We've 
intercepted several new directives... from General Kreel.

Dispatcher: Okay, let me rephrase my question.  Won't that just piss off 
General Kreel?

Cpt. Velasquez: You have a better plan, melonbrain?

Dispatcher: Vel, forgive me for saying so, but there's no way in hell we can 
match forces with General Kreel.  I wouldn't 'pull his penis', if you know 
what I mean.

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't pull, Carl.  I hack it right off!  That goes for any 
bozo who gets in my way!

Dispatcher: Ouch.  Remind me to keep a screen between us.

Cpt. Velasquez: I see I'm finally getting through.  Now clear me!

Mining Station Hangar
After mission

Dispatcher: You're becoming a real nuisance, Vel.  Kreel's got every Vulture 
skid in the city looking for you!

Cpt. Velasquez: What have you learned?

Dispatcher: That you are truly the center of the universe.

Cpt. Velasquez: Are you trying to be smart?

Dispatcher: Wouldn't think of it.

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

General Kreel: I've assigned you the delta sector.

General Talon: I don't want the delta sector.  The alpha sector has a better 
view... and it's the largest.

General Kreel: I control the alpha sector, you moron.  Be thankful you have 
anything!

General Talon: I believe that's my desk.  Step aside.

General Kreel: Your desk?!  This entire system is under my domination until 
the overlord himself relieves me of command!

General Talon: I wouldn't be surprised if he did, give your deliberate 
destruction of the Sechian spice trade.  Your dominion will become a piece of 
the galactic pie, my friend, and I shall devour the biggest chunk of all!  The 
overlord is still hailing my brilliant triumph in the Leikos system!  While 
you sniffed the spice of a worthless world, I have conquered a dozen wondrous 
planets!  When I am declared rightful heir to the overlord's throne, it will 
be a momentous day, and I shall relieve you of command myself!

General Kreel: If you weren't so full of yourself, you'd be full of shit.  You 
truly believe the overlord is pleased with the way you ravaged Oskopus IV?  
The only throne you'll ever sit on is the overlord's toilet!

--------------------------------------
MISSION X - THE DECOY PLOY
--------------------------------------

Medical room
Next day

Dr. Diva Livid: I suggest, Captain, that you let Striker lead this mission.  
You're in no condition to pilot a skid safely.

Cpt. Velasquez: The issue's not debatable, Doctor.  B.O.B.'s pinpointed a 
medical storage facility in the gamma sector.  You want medical supplies?  I 
can get them.  Striker couldn't get the flu on a rainy day.

Dr. Diva Livid: A brain hemorrhage has many symptoms, not the least of which 
is the sudden breakdown of simple and complex thought processes. You may start 
to lose your mental facilities.

Cpt. Velasquez: Doctor, the only thing I'm losing is patience.

Dr. Diva Livid: Captain, your brainwave patterns are off the scale!

Cpt. Velasquez: So's your weight.

Dr. Diva Livid: Must you insult everybody like that?!  If it weren't for those 
cybernetic biomatrices in your brain, you'd be a vegetable by now!  I suppose 
you can thank Dr. Ramses for that.  I wouldn't.  Although his technology is 
keeping you alive, it's also what's killing you.  Maybe you should think about 
that, Velasquez!

Cpt. Velasquez: Are you finished?  Because if you're not, I'll do everyone a 
favor and blow your head off!  Your lectures are enough to turn anyone into a 
vegetable, hemorrhage or not!

Dr. Diva Livid: Fine.  Do what you want.  When the brain hemorrhage finally 
kills you, I hope you're doing 460 down a trench!

Mining station hangar
25 radians later...

Dispatcher: The entire sector is crawling with Vultures, babe.  Good luck 
tryin' to get through undetected!

Cpt. Velasquez: Who needs luck!  Luck is for the dipshit who doesn't know his 
ass from the cleft in his chin!

Dispatcher: Well I -- hey!  I resemble that remark!

Cpt. Velasquez: Kellogg and Tercion will take to the streets in Stilettos and 
draw enemy fire.  When they've led away most of the Vulture boneheads, I'll 
escort Sova's transport to and from the medical facility.

Dispatcher: Just like that, huh?

Cpt. Velasquez: It's called the decoy ploy, moron.  Look it up.

Dispatcher: Under 'D' for decoy?

Cpt. Velasquez: No.  Under 'P' for peabrain.  Now clear me for departure 
before I clear you for life.

[Mission commences.]

Mining station hangar
After mission

Dispatcher: I see you ran into a few Vulture interceptors out there.  Is that 
a blasthole in your hull?!

Cpt. Velasquez: How would you like a blasthole in your forehead?  Those 
stripped-down Vulture I's were no match for this tank!  I've seen cardboard 
targets put up a better fight.

Dispatcher: Someone should tell Kreel he needs better skids.  Either that or 
better pilots.

Cpt. Velasquez: What Kreel needs is a skewering rod through his shit-filled 
skull!

Dispatcher: That too.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XI - CONVERGENCE
--------------------------------------

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

General Kreel: You're late, Marilith.

General Marilith: One of your planets was in my flight path.  I destroyed it.

General Kreel: I see that decades of war in the Penetad system haven't dulled 
your sense of humor.

General Marilith: Your sense of humor eludes me, Kreel.  My vessel has 
obtained orbit.  I will join you in Vultkolor within the hour.  You have until 
then to prepare for my arrival.

General Kreel: I've temporarily bequeathed the city's gamma sector to you.

General Marilith: Bah!  I have the firepower to crack this moon like a nut!  
Why the overlord chose this worthless rock as his nexus eludes me!

General Kreel: You control the urgus cluster, Talon the Ki'Irani belt.  Kolor 
is equidistant from both.  Simple geometry.

General Marilith: Oh, shut up!

Command Deck
Mining Station 52-8

Jekar: Our mission must proceed on schedule!

B.O.B.: Listen to me, you silatic simulacrum!  Selat's made no attempt to 
communicate, nor has he acknowledged our transmissions!  If Kreel killed 
Zargon as you say, he probably trashed Selat for kicks.

B.O.B.: K-K-Kreel's no f-f-fool, J-J-Jekar.

Cpt. Velasquez: I say Selat's roadkill by now.  Without him, your operation is 
dead as sandsquid-shit.

Jekar: No, it's not.  We have another ally in the V.C.I., Captain.  The 
mission is not over yet.

Cpt. Velasquez: You amorphous asshole, why wasn't I told?!

Jekar: The Vice-Director thought it wise not to trust you with such 
information.  There was no need to divulge the other's identity.

Cpt. Velasquez: Who is it?  Tell me, Jekar, before I blast the shit right out 
of you!

Jekar: The silatic's name is Osyluth.  Naven Osyluth.  He's a skid commander.

Cpt. Velasquez: Take me to him.

Mining station hangar
25 radians later

Lt. Striker: Osyluth's received our coded transmission, Captain.  He's agreed 
to meet you at a neutral sight.  The coordinates have been programmed into 
your onboard computer map.

Cpt. Velasquez: You're in command until I return.  Do not schedule any attacks 
until I get back!

Lt. Striker: None?!  But what if you don't come back?

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't get comfortable, Striker.  I'm not leaving my son in 
your incapable hands, nor would I trust you with the fate of this department!  
You disobeyed a direct order to wear the Vulture get-up, and you expect my 
trust?  Signal the dispatcher to clear me for departure.  Velasquez out!

[Mission commences.]

Commander Osyluth: So you're Captain Velasquez:

Cpt. Velasquez: And you're the asshole who keeps attacking my skids!

Commander Osyluth: Selat and I tried to convince General Kreel that a splinter 
faction was responsible for the Karuvia II attack, but he's made it clear he 
wants you Sechians eliminated.  Despite my feelings, I am forced to perform my 
duty.  To do otherwise would jeopardize my position.

Cpt. Velasquez: Instruct your pilots to back off.

Commander Osyluth: I've tried.  So far, I've managed to keep the location of 
your hidden base a secret.  The other commanders would not be so... 
compassionate.

Cpt. Velasquez: The last thing I need is another compassionate silatic!  
You're nothing but a Vulture-faced, ion-brained pile of shapeshifting k'r'roc 
shit!

Commander Osyluth: General Kreel does not like you very much, and I can see 
why.

Cpt. Velasquez: What happened to Selat?

Commander Osyluth: Selat's dead, and so is Zargon.  Kreel runs Vultkolor now.

Cpt. Velasquez: I want to get inside the Vulture command installation.  I want 
Kreel's ion-pocked corpse jettisoned into space!

Commander Osyluth: I cannot assist you.  Not until our mission is complete.

Cpt. Velasquez: Listen to me, you nose-picking pacifist!  I'll end your 
mission right here!  I intend to kill that bastard, and unless you agree to 
help me, I'll vape you, Jekar, and every other silatic slug I find!

Commander Osyluth: If you kill me, one of the other commanders will locate 
your hidden base and destroy it.  Thanks to me, you've only encountered a 
fraction of the military forces at General Kreel's disposal.

Cpt. Velasquez: Thanks to you, my department's been reduced to stealing 
medical supplies!

Commander Osyluth: You have Jekar and the others in your custody.  So long as 
they remain at your base, their lives are in peril.  You must transfer them to 
me immediately.  I can protect them in ways you cannot.

Cpt. Velasquez: You couldn't protect a wad of shit with flypaper.

Commander Osyluth: I'm afraid I don't underst--

Cpt. Velasquez: Listen to me, Osyluth!  If you don't help me, I'll contact 
General Kreel myself and tell him you're a silatic traitor!  He'll scatter 
your amorphous atoms from here to Mossos and kill any chance your mission has 
for success.

Commander Osyluth: You would destroy the last hope for peace in our galaxy?  
Only a fool would interfere!

Cpt. Velasquez: I'm not interested in peace, Commander.  I think Jekar will 
attest to that!

Commander Osyluth: Well... I can give you the means to disable the negaton 
defense screens.  That's the best I can do for now.  As for the rest, I'll see 
what I can manage.

[Mission continues.]

Mining station hangar
After mission

Dispatcher: Cavorting with Vultures again, Vel?

Cpt. Velasquez: How would you like your face strapped to a particle vaporizer?

Dispatcher: Oh, oh.  Sounds like captain carnage is suffering from cyborg PMS!

Cpt. Velasquez: You don't even know what suffering is!!

Dispatcher: Believe me, Captain, I don't want to find out!

Kolor V.C.I.
Next day

General Marilith: The gamma sector?!  How dare you assign me to the gamma 
sector!

General Kreel: You would prefer to remain in orbit?

General Marilith: Fool.  If you possessed the slightest shred of wisdom, you'd 
swallow that spitball you call pride and yield the alpha sector to me.  In 
five days, you'll be addressing me as overlord anyways!

General Talon: Ah, I see General Marilith has arrived.  Go back to the Urgus 
Cluster, woman!  There's not enough space on this rock for the three of us!

General Marilith: If your brain was one-fiftieth the size of your ego, you 
wouldn't have bothered coming!  The overlord has always given me the toughest 
planets to conquer, and I have never failed him.  You puerile, pellet-brained 
powermongers who conquer derelict worlds and decrepit stretches of worthless 
space don't stand a chance!

General Talon: The overlord would never select a woman to lead the empire.  A 
woman's place is next to the throne, not in it!

General Marilith: You will choke on those words, I promise you!

General Kreel: While you have the upper hand, Marilith, I suppose you could 
explain why you've brought this clone with you?

Dr. Bela Ramses: I am Dr. Bela Ramses.  I have come to confer with my genetic 
progenitor regarding a new device of incredibly destructive power.

General Kreel: If by 'progenitor' you mean Dr. Clive Ramses, you're too late.  
That imbecile was killed by Sechian terrorist in Vultigard.

Dr. Bela Ramses: My creator... is dead?

General Kreel: I believe that's essentially what I said.

General Talon: Do not fret, dear doctor.  There are Sechians here in Vultkolor 
eager to repent for their sins!  General Kreel has tried to keep the matter 
quiet, of course -- to avoid humiliation, no doubt.  Naturally, he's been 
unable to locate these... villains.

General Marilith: Bah!  I've spent the last hour monitoring this city's 
communication network!  Would someone kindly tell me why, with five days 
remaining until the overlord's arrival, this city is plagued by vigilantes in 
armed skids?!

General Talon: Tell us, Kreel, how do you intend to eradicate this menace?

General Marilith: Or would you prefer we did it for you?

--------------------------------------
MISSION XII - HIT OR MISSILE
--------------------------------------

Mining Station Hangar
25 radians later

Dispatcher: We've received a sigma-coded transmission from your Vulture 
boyfriend.  He's given us the necessary security ciphers to override the 
negaton fields for a short time.

Cpt. Velasquez: It's about time.  Tell B.O.B. to disable the fields once we've 
cleared the hangar.

Dispatcher: Watch yourself, Vel.  The fields will only be disabled for a few 
minutes before the Vultures install a new cipher series.  Six bluerite 
transports have entered the city and are heading for the V.C.I.

Cpt. Velasquez: How many escorts?

Dispatcher: Trust me, Vel, you don't wanna know.  But don't worry.  We've 
equipped your Stiletto with extra missiles.

Cpt. Velasquez: Like I need them!  Now clear me.

[Mission commences.]

Mining Station Hangar
After mission

Dispatcher: You're getting rusty, Vel.  Those Vultures practically had you 
flying in circles!

Cpt. Velasquez: Go step on a moon-mine!

Dispatcher: Maybe you should see Diva.  You don't look too good.

Cpt. Velasquez: Damn headaches!  I feel like I've been shot through the skull!

Dispatcher: Maybe it's a premonition.  I know half a dozen pilots who'd love 
to shoot you in the head.

Cpt. Velasquez: One more smarmy, smart-ass remark and you're maggot meat!

Mining Station 52-8
Command Deck
25 radians later...

Cpt. Velasquez: This had better be important.

B.O.B.: Sorry to disturb you, C-C-Captain, b-b-but you told me to c-c-contact 
Commander Osyluth.

Cpt. Velasquez: Get to the point, spark-plug!  And stop that stuttering!

B.O.B.: Well, the c-c-c... the c-c-c... the c-c-c...

Cpt. Velasquez: What about him?!

B.O.B.: He's not answering our transmissions.

Cpt. Velasquez: Well, if Kreel hasn't killed him by now, I certainly will.  Is 
there anything else?

B.O.B.: N-N-Not really.

Cpt. Velasquez: Then get out, you rattling garbage receptacle!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIII - A FOOT IN THE DOOR
--------------------------------------

Dr. Diva Livid: The cybernetic implants are degenerating the nerve endings in 
your brain, which is why you feel the pain.  However, they're also destroying 
your brain cells.  I'd conservatively estimate about 10,000 cells a day.

Cpt. Velasquez: What's your point?

Dr. Diva Livid: That your son is more fit to command than you are.

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't worry.  I plan to leave him in charge.

Dr. Diva Livid: You're going somewhere?

Cpt. Velasquez: I've found a way inside the V.C.I.  A series of subterranean 
maintenance tubes under the city.  I'm planning to leave this afternoon.

Dr. Diva Livid: Why tell me this?  I'll only confine you to a medical bed.

Cpt. Velasquez: I'll rip your head off if you try.  No, doctor, what I need is 
something in case the headaches return.

Dr. Diva Livid: I'm not in the habit of giving medication to psychotic cyborgs.

Cpt. Velasquez: You're not in the habit of getting your head ripped off, 
either.  Take your choice, doctor -- one or the other.  

Mining Station Hangar
25 radians later...

Dispatcher: I see Dr. Livid gave you the medication after all.

Cpt. Velasquez: You could use some medication yourself.  I suggest cyanide.

Dispatcher: You would.

Cpt. Velasquez: Now clear me for departure, before I leave bootprints in your 
face!

Dispatcher: Not until you tell me where you're going.

Cpt. Velasquez: There's a service conduit to the city's subterranean level 
located in the alpha sector, inside an ion supply depot.  I'm gonna get my 
foot in the door.

Dispatcher: Well, I guess a foot in the door's better than a boot in the face. 
I can clear you for departure, I suppose.

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't remember giving you a choice!

[Mission commences.]

[Ion Depot Alpha-6: A golf ball-like structure sits next to a highway on the 
moon's surface.  Copper pipes jut out on the left and a longer one snakes 
around the left.]

Ion Depot Alpha-6
After mission

Administrator Lemure: Forgive my curiosity, Commander, but why the surprise 
inspection?  Our production status was confirmed only last week.

Cpt. Velasquez: General Kreel believes that the Sechian terrorists may be 
operating out of a subterranean annex beneath one of the city's ion depots.  
Let us hope for your sake, administrator, that the Sechians are not here.

Administrator Lemure: Depot alpha six has the best security record in the 
city!  I assure you, Commander Marta, that this depot's security precautions 
negate any possibility of intruders.

Cpt. Velasquez: I'll have to determine that for myself.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIV - INSIDE OUT
--------------------------------------

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

General Kreel: You're a disgrace to that uniform, Commander!  By allowing the 
Sechians to destroy another bluerite convoy, you've crippled the entire city's 
power supply!  These Sechian slugs infiltrated one of our ion depots, killed 
Administrator Lemure, and planted a muon mine in one of the ion containers!

Commander Osyluth: I believe we are close to locating the Sechian base, my 
lord.

General Kreel: You couldn't locate a planet if you were standing on it!

Commander Kovia: Sorry to interrupt your friendly little chat...

General Kreel: What are you doing here?  I told you to remain aboard the 
Scavenger!

Commander Kovia: The other generals are monitoring all transmission 
frequencies, coded and uncoded.  I bring a message which must not be overheard.

General Kreel: Don't worry about Osyluth.  He won't divulge anything once I've 
ejected him into space!

Commander Kovia: We've detected an anomalous energy reading aboard the 
'Malevolence'.  A power signature unlike any I've ever seen.

General Kreel: The clone.

Commander Kovia: I don't understand.

General Kreel: When I asked the Ramses clone why he'd come to Vultkolor, he 
said he meant to confer with his progenitor regarding a weapon of substantial 
destructive capability.  That spacecow Marilith must have brought the weapon 
with her!

Commander Kovia: She may try to use this weapon against us!  We must secure 
the device for ourselves.

General Kreel: We must be careful -- what's that noise?!

Cpt. Velasquez: I have you now!  Die, Vulture bitch!

Commander Kovia: No!  Nooooo!

General Kreel: Velasquez!  How in hell... you've killed her!

Cpt. Velasquez: Now it's your turn, you murdering Vulture bastard!

General Kreel: You'll find me more prepared than Kovia, Velasquez.  I am 
surrounded by an ion field, impenetrable to your ion pistol!

Cpt. Velasquez: Then I'll kill you with my bare hands, you --

General Kreel: Kill her, Osyluth!

5 radians later...

General Kreel: An excellent move, Osyluth.  By shooting out the door's keypad, 
you trapped her behind it.  There's nowhere she can run except back into the 
hands of the guards.  We'll take her for questioning and find the remaining 
Sechians!  They will be wiped out!  Very good, Commander.  You just saved your 
own life.

Commander Osyluth: And yours, my lord.

General Kreel: Now hunt down that cyborg bitch before I change my mind!

Kolor V.C.I. Hangar
5 radians later

Cpt. Velasquez: Damn!  I'll kill that silatic son-of-a-bitch!

[Mission commences.]

Mining Station Hangar
After mission

Lt. Striker: Jumpin' jingleberries, Velasquez!  The whole city's crawlin' with 
Vulture skids!

Cpt. Velasquez: I want that silatic bastard Jekar taken to a detention cell!

Lt. Striker: I take it things went badly in the V.C.I.

Cpt. Velasquez: Things will go badly for you if you don't shut up!

Kolor V.C.I.

General Kreel: I will not be dictated to!  I command this city, and I control 
this system!

General Talon: Recent events would seem to doubt your claims.  I must admit... 
I find the entire incident quite humorous.  I was especially pleased to learn 
of Commander Kovia's demise.  The overlord, however, would most certainly 
frown upon your lax security measures.

General Marilith: You had this woman in your sights, and you let her make a 
mockery of everything our empire stands for!  How you attained this position 
is beyond me!

General Talon: This Velasquez woman must be a remarkable specimen.  How 
fortunate for you that not all Sechians are so... devastating.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XV - VENDETTA
--------------------------------------

Mining Station 52-8
Commander Deck

Cpt. Velasquez: Your operation is dead, Jekar, and so are you!

Jekar: Osyluth warned you to stay away from the V.C.I.! You should've listened 
to him!

Cpt. Velasquez: I don't take orders from silatic scum!

Jekar: Can't you see that violence is not the answer?  Haven't you learned 
anything?  Naven did what had to be done!  You have no one to blame but 
yourself.

Cpt. Velasquez: That bastard accomplice of yours screwed up my mission!  Now 
I'm gonna screw up his!  Die for my homeworld, silatic shithead!

Jekar: Noooo!

Lt. Striker: Captain, he's dead!  Don't you think you were a little harsh?

Cpt. Velasquez: I want the other silatics in custody brought to detention and 
vaporized.

Lt. Koth: Perhapsss the ssstrain of the mission has taken itsss toll.  I 
suggessst you sssee the doctor.

Cpt. Velasquez: I suggest you follow my orders.

Ian Velasquez: Mom?  Is... is Jekar...

Cpt. Velasquez: I killed him, Ian.  I had to... he was a threat to our lives!

Ian Velasquez: He was my friend... and you killed him!  I hate you!  I hate 
you!

Cpt. Velasquez: Ian...

Medical Room
Next day...

Dr. Diva Livid: I told you this would happen.  It is obvious to me that both 
your physical condition and your judgment have deteriorated to the point of 
endangering the lives of those around you.

Cpt. Velasquez: You can't relieve me.

Dr. Diva Livid: You must come to the infirmary for treatment!

Cpt. Velasquez: Do you honestly think I would entrust this department to 
Striker or some other half-wit?  I am still capable of making command 
decisions!

Dr. Diva Livid: If it's revenge you're after, Captain, I recommend you leave 
Striker and the rest of us out of it!  Whatever the Vultures did to your 
father is your business, but this personal vendetta of yours puts all our 
lives at risk!

Cpt. Velasquez: You know nothing about what those bastards did to my father!

Dr. Diva Livid: I read your file!  Do you think I'm an idiot?

Cpt. Velasquez: You're nothing but a self-righteous shaman with shit for 
brains!  An incompetent cleric who couldn't cure a bad case of hemorrhoids!

Dr. Diva Livid: Let me give you a piece of advice, Captain.  I don't care how 
long you sit here plotting the destruction of your enemies.  But there's a 
young boy in the other room who's utterly petrified that his mother is turning 
into a monster.
Velasquez, I suggest you forget trying to avenge your dead father, and worry 
about the welfare of your living son.

Mining Station 52-8
Command Deck
Later...

B.O.B.: Sorry to d-d-disturb you, C-C-Captain.  P-P-Please don't v-v-vaporize 
me!

Cpt. Velasquez: What is it?

B.O.B.: We've p-p-picked up a c-c-coded transmission.

Cpt. Velasquez: Let me guess.  Commander Osyluth.

B.O.B.: W-w-well, n-n-not exactly.

Over a private vidcom
Later...

General Kreel: You and I have a score to settle, Velasquez.  You want me, I 
want you.  It's time one of us ended this vendetta!

Cpt. Velasquez: Sorry, Kreel, but I've had enough fried buzzard for today.  
Maybe some other time.

General Kreel: Time's running out for you and your troublesome minions!  I 
have sworn to erase you from this universe... even if I have to sterilize 
every habitable globe in the galaxy to do it!

Cpt. Velasquez: You couldn't sterilize a septic tank.

General Kreel: It was I, General Kreel, who conquered your planet, ordered the 
attacks on your desert cities, enslaved your populace and annihilated all who 
opposed me!  It was I, Velasquez, who ordered the assault on Vulthaven -- the 
assault which claimed the worthless life of that scum you once called father!

Cpt. Velasquez: And I have paid you for that, General, through Glasya.  I 
vaped that sack of vomit you once called daughter!

General Kreel: You want your son to have a long, healthy life, don't you?!  
Well, he won't have a life at all when I get through with him!

Cpt. Velasquez: I'm sick and tired of this.  Cut transmission!
Have Striker prepare a skid for immediate departure.

Mining Station Hangar
25 radians later

Dispatcher: You're not going after Kreel again, are you?

Cpt. Velasquez: No.  Actually, I heard there's a sale on at the local 
supermarket.

Dispatcher: Really?!  Can you pick me up some nice melons?

Cpt. Velasquez: Like the mush between your ears?

Dispatcher: No, like the ones attached to your --

Cpt. Velasquez: Listen, melon-head.  I can either blow off my frustrations by 
vaping things in the streets... or in this hangar bay!  Take your pick!

Dispatcher: Given the option, I prefer you did your business in the streets!

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

General Kreel: Your death will be slow, Velasquez.  I promise a similar death 
to your wretched son!

Cpt. Velasquez: I'm tired of games, Kreel.  Let's just finish this for once 
and for all.

General Kreel: You think you can destroy me?  Fool!  Even if you destroy this 
skid, my survival is ensured!  I await you at the V.C.I.!

[Mission ends.]

Mining Station Hangar
After mission

Dispatcher: Looks like you spread Kreel pretty thin, Vel.  How do you feel?

Cpt. Velasquez: Vindicated.  In fact, I feel like vaping another general.

Dispatcher: Maybe we should get the hell outta here, before someone decides to 
kick the shit out of us.

Cpt. Velasquez: Get a grip, Carl!  It would take a lifetime to kick all the 
shit out of you!  Besides, we still have work to do!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVI - THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
--------------------------------------

Kolor V.C.I.

General Marilith: Well done, doctor.  The transmolecular device you outfitted 
for General Kreel worked perfectly!

Dr. Bela Ramses: In a manner of speaking, General.  Actually, you could say 
the device didn't really work at all!

General Marilith: Yes... it failed to teleport him out of the skid.  You 
possess a sharp with, Dr. Ramses, as well as a keen mind.  Thanks primarily to 
you, we can continue our mission without that imbecile getting in the way.  I 
promise you, your loyalty will be rewarded.

Dr. Bela Ramses: Thank you, General Marilith.  I could ask for nothing more.

General Talon: Well played, Marilith.  You are wonderful when you're devious!

General Marilith: Fooling Kreel was child's play.

General Talon: Before we're finished, we must remember to eliminate the doctor 
as well.  No one must know what we're about to accomplish... until it is too 
late.

General Marilith: Such wicked duplicity.  I adore you when you're ruthless!

General Talon: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

General Marilith: Sex, my love?  My mind is filled with apolaustic thoughts, 
but passion and power make dangerous bedfellows.  Sorry, my love.  Not until 
our task is done.

Over a private vidcom
Later...

Cpt. Velasquez: General Jack-Ass, I presume.  I take it this isn't a social 
call.

General Talon: I just wanted to thank you for eliminating Kreel.  I have no 
private vendettas to settle with you or your people.

Cpt. Velasquez: You will.  Either you release this system from Vulture 
domination, or I'll give you a war you can't win.

General Talon: My, you are a volatile woman!  You must have Vulturnan blood.

Cpt. Velasquez: I suggest you retract that comment.

General Talon: Naturally, I entertained the thought of simply incinerating the 
entire moon.  But then I figured, why destroy a perfectly good bluerite 
industry?  Of course, if you continue to threaten that industry with your acts 
of terrorism, you may leave me no other choice.

Cpt. Velasquez: Just try it, you cyclopean sack of shit!  I'll blast you 
across the Koloran moonscape!

Mining Station Hangar
5 radians later...

Lt. Striker: Several transports have been dispatched from the V.C.I. to pick 
up consignments of crystalline bluerite.  You, Koth and J'Larno only have a 
few minutes to reach them before they pass through the ion barricade and enter 
the outer trenches.

Cpt. Velasquez: If Koth and J'Larno do their job, we'll only need a few 
minutes.  Instruct that dickless dispatcher to clear us for departure!

Lt. Striker: You're clear.  Good luck, Captain.

[Mission - you received this transmission]

Lt. Striker: Captain!  An orbiting cruiser has just released a high-energy 
cluster headed directly for the city!

[This makes everything very purple, and slows everything down.  Still the 
mission ends]

Medical Room
After mission

Dr. Diva Livid: What happened?

Lt. Striker: Koth and J'Larno were immobilized by a voloton surge.  We haven't 
been able to make contact with either of them.  The captain made it back okay, 
but just barely.  She was unconscious by the time we reached her skid.

Dr. Diva Livid: I'm detecting brainwave fluctuations in her cerebral cortex.  
It may be too late to stabilize her condition.

B.O.B.: D-D-Doctor, is she g-g-going to b-b-be okay?

Dr. Diva Livid: Her cybernetic implants were overloaded by the Vulture voloton 
surge.  I'm detecting massive hemorrhaging in the cerebral core and 
cerebellum.  Dammit!  The scanner can't seem to maintain neural stability!

B.O.B.: It's all m-m-my fault!  I was the one who d-d-detected those d-d-damn 
b-b-bluerite transports in the first place!

Dr. Diva Livid: Try not to rust yourself.  The captain was fully aware of her 
condition.  She has no one to blame but herself.

B.O.B.: W-W-Would a d-donation of my internal c-c-capacitors help?

Dr. Diva Livid: I don't think that will be necessary now...

B.O.B.: Y-Y-You mean, she's g-g-gonna recover?

Dr. Diva Livid: I mean she's on the verge of dying.

Mission XVII - Condition Critical

Kolor V.C.I.

General Talon: We didn't get Velasquez...

General Marilith: We do have this Selarian.  He will ell us everything we need 
to know -- like the location of the secret Sechian base.

General Talon: I'll begin questioning right away.

General Marilith: What a repulsive creature!

Lt. Koth: You're not so sssexy yourssself.

General Marilith: You will suffer for that remark, Selarian!

General Talon: We should have asked Kreel how to work this torture console... 
hold on, I think I've got it!

Lt. Koth: AAAAAAARGH!!

General Marilith: What the hell?

General Talon: Damn.  I killed him.

General Marilith: Brilliant.

General Talon: At lease we know what that button does!  I guess we better 
bring in the other prisoner -- the one called J'Larno.

General Marilith: Let's make an effort to keep this one alive, shall we?

Medical Room
Several radians later

Dispatcher: The base is being overrun by Vultures!  They're appearing out of 
nowhere!

Lt. Striker: Activate security screens in all corridors and service junctions. 
Move everyone into the evacuation tubes.

Dispatcher: The Vultures have already sealed off th-- arghhh!

Lt. Striker: Carl!!

Vulture Lt.: You're next, Sechian bastard!

Kolor V.C.I. Laboratory
Later...

Dr. Bela Ramses: I've stabilized the cyborg's neural cohesion matrix.  The 
device should prevent any further bio-degeneration.

General Marilith: Why keep this... thing alive?

Dr. Bela Ramses: Destroy such remarkable technology?  General, I revel in the 
chance to study every component... every biomatrix!

General Talon: I could never appreciate you scientists, Dr. Ramses.  This 
cyborg probably destroyed your progenitor -- and yet you still feel compassion 
for it?

Dr. Bela Ramses: Not compassion, General.  Curiosity.

General Marilith: A scientist's flaw.

General Talon: Curiosity killed the cat, doctor.  Just be careful it doesn't 
kill anything else!

Dr. Bela Ramses: Do not worry, General.  The neural stabilizer is equipped 
with a matrix inhibitor.  That should keep her inactive until she's taken to 
my lab aboard the Malevolence for proper dissection.  If this cyborg is 
responsible for killing my progenitor, as you suggest... I want vengeance in 
the fashion of my choosing.

General Marilith: Very good, doctor.  After you've taken the cyborg aboard my 
ship, outfit the Orb of Armus with one of your transmoleculizers.  The orb 
must be ready before General Orlok's warship arrives.

Kolor V.C.I. Laboratory
During sleeping hours

Cpt. Velasquez: Unnngh...

Commander Osyluth: Don't move just yet.  I haven't deactivated Dr. Ramses's 
matrix inhibitor.

Cpt. Velasquez: What's happened?

Commander Osyluth: You're in the Vulture Command Installation.  Your neural 
condition has been stabilized.

Cpt. Velasquez: Where's my department?

Cpt. Velasquez: General Talon had them exterminated.  I've secured a skid to 
help you escape.  I'm also giving you one of Dr. Ramses's transmolecular 
devices.  Do not utilize it until I say!  I will contact you at the Sechian 
base when the time is right.

Cpt. Velasquez: I should kill you.

Commander Osyluth: Save it for later.  If you stay alive long enough, I'll 
give you another chance.  I promise.

[Mission commences.]

Destroyed Mining Station
After mission
[Transcriber's Note: It doesn't look any different than before.]

Cpt. Velasquez: Oh no!
B.O.B., talk to me!  What's happened here?
You stupid cylindrical shitbucket!  What the hell's the matter with you?  What 
the...

Ian Velasquez: He protected me, mom... he was destroyed and I hid inside him.

Cpt. Velasquez: The little guy was faithful to the end... what have I done!?

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

Dr. Bela Ramses: Velasquez has escaped!  She commandeered one of our Stingrays!

General Talon: Control yourself, doctor.

General Marilith: The cyborg's escape is of little consequence.  Outfitting 
the Orb of Armus must be your top priority.  See to it immediately.

Dr. Bela Ramses: But General, I rendered Velasquez non-functional!  There's no 
way she could've removed the matrix inhibitor by herself!

General Marilith: Are you suggesting she may have a collaborator?

General Talon: If she does, rest assured I'll find the traitor.

Dr. Bela Ramses: But what about Velasquez?  What about my cyborg?

General Marilith: It's possible she overheard our conversation regarding the 
orb.  I'm sorry, doctor, but the cyborg must be destroyed.

--------------------------------------
MISSION XVIII - CONFLICT OF CONSCIENCE
--------------------------------------

Over a private vidcom

Commander Osyluth: I was with General Kreel in his office the day you killed 
Commander Kovia.  Do you remember?

Cpt. Velasquez: Of course I remember!  I still owe you for that!

Commander Osyluth: The last thing Commander Kovia mentioned before her death 
was a deviant energy reading aboard Marilith's ship.  Kreel was convinced that 
Marilith had access to a weapon of devastating capability.  If this is true, 
Marilith undoubtedly has it aboard the Malevolence... and she probably intends 
to use it.

Cpt. Velasquez: The Orb of Armus.  That's all I remember from their 
conversation.  Do you know what this... orb... might be?

Commander Osyluth: The planet Armus was once part of the Urgus cluster.  The 
Vultures conquered that piece of the galaxy decades ago.  The people of Armus 
were aggressive like yourself, but their technologies were far superior in 
every regard.  They were futurists.

Cpt. Velasquez: And now they're nothing.  But if Marilith has this instrument 
of armageddon, what the hell does she intend to do with it?

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

General Talon: The Luril system has only one exploitable world.  The gas 
clouds of Luril III contain krystalite decahydride.  The system also makes a 
perfect launching ground for attacks against the Celtarans of Celtus II.  
Would you be willing to bequeath the Luril system to me?

General Marilith: Only if you're willing to relinquish your hold in the Kivat 
system.  I understand the caverns on Kivat Minor yield diamonds twice the size 
of a Celtaran's balls!

General Talon: Consider it a fair trade, then.  Now... shall we proceed with 
the Urinabi system?  It falls inside Orlok's domain, near the Irian nebula.  
Major resources include temporite, liquid vanadium, and of course, slaves.

General Marilith: Densely populated?

General Talon: The planet Fangolor has a population of roughly two billion.  
Uz'Nrab had over one billion -- until Commander Nurus sunk the western 
continent.

General Marilith: Ah, Nurus!  I remember him well.  If there ever lived a 
rival for your affections, it was him!

General Talon: Remind me to have that idiot exterminated.

General Marilith: Such jealousy.  No need to worry, my love.  He's just 
another piece of the galactic pie.

Over a private vidcom

Commander Osyluth: The 'Vortex' is due to arrive in a matter of hours.  If 
Talon and Marilith are conspiring to divide the empire between them, they'll 
have to destroy General Orlok's ship when it arrives.

Cpt. Velasquez: Let me get this straight.  You expect me to save the Vulture 
overlord's life?

Commander Osyluth: You and I are alone now, Velasquez.  There's no one left to 
trust.  If I can replace the overlord of Vulturnus, there's a chance we can 
end the tyranny.  If Talon and Marilith destroy Orlok's ship, they'll carve up 
the galaxy and devour it!

Cpt. Velasquez: Are you suggesting we vape Talon and Marilith?  I'd consider 
that pretty violent behavior... for a silatic.

Commander Osyluth: I'm not asking you to kill anyone.  Once I determine the 
exact location of the orb, you will board Marilith's ship and steal the device 
before she has an opportunity to use it. Using the doctor's transmoleculizer, 
of course.

Cpt. Velasquez: What's to stop Marilith from opening fire with conventional 
weapons?

Commander Osyluth: Even Marilith's not that brazen.  The destruction of the 
'Vortex' must be instantaneous.  She'll never attain power if the overlord 
discovers her treachery.

Cpt. Velasquez: You'd better be right, Osyluth.  Vaping silatics has become my 
hobby.

Commander Osyluth: Your son will be safe if he stays within the Sechian base.  
Several Vultures have been dispatched to find you, but they won't bother 
searching the base once they detect your skid moving through the streets.  
Just stay alive long enough for me to find Marilith's orb.

[Mission commences.]

Aboard the 'Malevolence'...      Weaponry bridge...      Later...

General Talon: I have good news.  My forces have located the cyborg.  Once 
she's been blasted into ionized bits, the last remnant of a worthless culture 
will be eradicated!  There's no one left to oppose us now.

General Marilith: I have even better news.  The 'Vortex' has just entered 
Sechian space.

General Talon: Excellent.  Now begins our legacy, dear Marilith.  It's time we 
paid the overlord our final respects.  Talon out.

In the 'Malevolence' cargo bays...       5 radians later

General Marilith: Report, doctor.

Dr. Bela Ramses: The detonation sequence has begun.  I'm fitting the 
containment unit with the transmoleculizer now.

General Marilith: You have thirty seconds until transport.

Meanwhile         On the 'Malevolence' weaponry bridge

Vulture Lt.: General, we're receiving a coded transmission from the 'Vortex'.

General Marilith: Open a vid conduit, you idiot!  Quickly!

General Orlok: General Marilith.  I bring the overlord of Vulturnus.

General Marilith: His arrival honors us, General Orlok.  Prepare to receive 
landing instructions.  Marilith out.
When Orlok's ship explodes, send a signal to Vultkolor informing General Talon 
of our victory.  Allow him a minute to gloat, then destroy the city with a 
telorite spread!

Suddenly...     In the cargo bays...

Dr. Bela Ramses: What the -- where did you come from?

Cpt. Velasquez: Shut up and don't move!

Dr. Bela Ramses: You're too late, Velasquez!  Once activated, the orb can't be 
shut off!

Cpt. Velasquez: That's fine by me, squidbrain!  All I want is the 
transmoleculizer!

Dr. Bela Ramses: You can't take that!

Cpt. Velasquez: Watch me.  So long, doctor!

Dr. Bela Ramses: Oh shit.

Back on the weaponry bridge...

Vulture Lt.: Five seconds until transport and detonation.
Four.
Three.
Two.
One.
Transport has been initiated.

General Marilith: And a new era of conquest has begun!

Dr. Bela Ramses: General!  The cyborg managed to steal the transmoleculizer 
off the orb!  She's been transported out of here, and the orb --

The Malevolence explodes...

Meanwhile
On the bridge of 
General Orlok's ship...

General Orlok: Do I know you?

Cpt. Velasquez: The question is, General, do you want to?

Kolor V.C.I.

General Talon: I am returning to my ship.  Prepare my shuttle for immediate 
takeoff.

Commander Osyluth: The shuttle is waiting, my lord.  I have taken every 
possible security precaution to ensure your safe departure.

General Talon: Notify the 'Nightmare' of my imminent arrival.  I place you in 
charge of Vultkolor, Commander.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

Commander Osyluth: I'll endeavor to try, my lord.

Kreel's shuttle starts across the moon...

And suddenly explodes...

Commander Osyluth: Talon's shuttle has left.  Everything is falling into place.
Nak'zhar, numehn.  Goodbye, General!  May your sabotaged shuttle serve well!

--------------------------------------
MISSION XIX - LAST KILL AND TESTAMENT
--------------------------------------

Kolor V.C.I.
Later...

Commander Osyluth: I see that you left the overlord aboard your ship.  Very 
wise, General Orlok.  After what the splinter faction did to General Talon's 
shuttle... one can never be too careful.

General Orlok: My condolences regarding Vice-Director Selat.  I've brought the 
DNA sample he requested.

Commander Osyluth: I'm not interested in the overlord's DNA, general.

General Orlok: I see.  You want me.

Commander Osyluth: I want you dead.  I'm not the forgiving fool Selat was!  
You destroyed my world... my race!  You will pay dearly for the destruction 
and decades of anguish you've caused!

General Orlok: Destroying me won't change anything, Commander!

Cpt. Velasquez: Osyluth, listen to him!  Pretend for a minute you have a brain!

Commander Osyluth: You, Velasquez -- you of all people should understand!  Did 
you not feel the same way about General Kreel?  Isn't that why you killed him? 
Kreel's dead, Velasquez, but he didn't conquer my planet -- this bastard did!

General Orlok: You don't truly want revenge, Commander.  Even now, you try to 
deceive us!

Commander Osyluth: Be silent!

General Orlok: Do you honestly believe I conquered your race without first 
understanding it?  Silatics aren't pacifists!  They're manipulators!  Their 
very existence is based on half-truths and deception.  Tell us, Commander, 
what do you really want?

Commander Osyluth: First, General, I'm going to reduce you to ionized sludge!  
Then I'm going to absorb your DNA and take your place!

General Orlok: Very clever.  With the other generals gone, your ascension to 
the overlord's throne would be assured.

Cpt. Velasquez: You silatic slime!  You sabotaged Talon's shuttle and used me 
to destroy the others!

Commander Osyluth: I knew you wouldn't pass up the chance to rid the universe 
of Kreel and Marilith.  If I had more time, I would've tricked you into 
annihilating Talon as well.  Selat never knew quite how to handle you, 
Velasquez, but I've encountered your type before.

General Orlok: Just as silatics manipulate their physical forms, so too they 
manipulate those around them -- in ways they aren't even aware of!

Commander Osyluth: Don't listen to him!  You and I are fighting a war against 
an intractable enemy, Velasquez!  I'm fighting mine the only way I can!

Cpt. Velasquez: I ended my war.  Now end yours.

Commander Osyluth: I'd rather die.

Cpt. Velasquez: Your species taught me that violence is not the only solution. 
Many lives were lost before I learned that lesson.  Listen to me, Osyluth.  
Vengeance alone is not enough, nor would it have saved my son.  General Orlok 
promises freedom for the systems under Vulture tyranny.  Fighting him will 
only cost more lives!

Commander Osyluth: And you trust him?

Cpt. Velasquez: No.  Not yet.  But to quote Selat, I have faith in him.

Commander Osyluth: Then you're too stupid to live!  I will have my revenge!

[Commander Osyluth sits in a chair.  His legs turn into lumpy, goopy things.]

He transforms and leaves...

General Orlok: He's gone, but he will assume another form.  Silatics sometimes 
retain DNA fragments from other creatures... in the event their current 
disguise is revealed.

Cpt. Velasquez: You know them better than I do, General.  I'll leave Osyluth 
in your hands.  I have to get to my son before someone else does.

General Orlok: Be careful out there...

[Mission commences.  During the mission, you receive a communication.]

Cmd. Osyluth: You've joined forces with the enemy, Velasquez!  Now you are the 
enemy!

Lt. Velasquez: You don't want to be my enemy.  In case you've been keeping 
score, all of my enemies are dead!

Cmd. Osyluth: Not this one.

Lt. Velasquez: Have it your way.  In the V.C.I., you said I'd have another 
chance to kill you.  You also saved my life.  It'll be tough vaping you!

Cmd. Osyluth: Hesitation kills, Velasquez.

Lt. Velasquez: So do I, Osyluth.

[Mission ends.]

Destroyed Mining Station Hangar
After battle...

Cpt. Velasquez: You can come out now.

Ian Velasquez: Have all the Vultures left?

Cpt. Velasquez: All the ones that matter.  Come with me.  I've got a friend 
you should meet.

Kolor V.C.I.

Cpt. Velasquez: Did the overlord accept your proposal, General?

General Orlok: He has declared me his successor.  As of now, you command this 
system.  I leave the warcruiser 'Scavenger' at your disposal.  My people will 
continue to populate your cities and the skies overhead, but only for as long 
as you wish it.

Cpt. Velasquez: And what of the other systems under Vulture domination?

General Orlok: The other generals will not be eager to relent, but they will.  
They -- like me -- must learn to co-exist rather than conquer.

Cpt. Velasquez: There was a time I did not believe in peace.

General Orlok: And now?

Cpt. Velasquez: Now?  It's a possibility...

General Orlok: May your culture defy extinction, Velasquez.  Until we meet 
again.

Later...

Ian Velasquez: May I play with Mala now, mother?

Cpt. Velasquez: Yes.

B.O.B.: I haven't felt this g-g-good since I electrified all of my 
c-c-capacitors refitting a p-p-power c-c-conduit!  Thanks for having me fixed, 
C-C-Captain.

Cpt. Velasquez: Don't mention it.  They did a good job.  Oh, and B.O.B., call 
me Vel.

B.O.B.: V-V-Vel??? O-k-kay.  If y-y-you insist.

Cpt. Velasquez: And B.O.B.?

B.O.B.: Y-y-yes??

Cpt. Velasquez: Fix that damn stutter.

===============================================================================
FAQs
===============================================================================

Q: Why did you do this?
A: Yes, I know I'm releasing something for a game that's more than fifteen 
years old that only a handful of people ever played.  The gameplay was 
mediocre at best and repetitive at most.  But this was the first game I played 
that had such a strong main character, two years before the creation 
of Tomb Raider.  Even after avenging her father, she doesn't stop until every 
last member of the Vultures is dead.  She spews vitriol in every sentence, yet 
she remains vulnerable and womanly.  This is a world fueled by war, 
cybernetics, and mind control on a vacant Dune-like planet.  It's a good 
science fiction story with a good character. 

Q: What vehicles do you fly?
A: You fly two types of vehicles, Vulture and Traffic Department.  They have 
different missile payloads as well as speed, armor, and armamements.

VULTURE VEHICLES
Vulture I
	2 Medium-Power Ion Cannons
	Armor 2500
	Shields 2500
	Top Speed 118 MPH
Vulture II
	4 Light Ion Pulsers
	Armor 2000
	Shields 2500
	Top Speed 185 MPH
Vulture III
	2 Heavy Ion Punchers
	Armor 4000
	Shields 3500
	Top Speed 76 MPH
	
TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT VEHICLES
Hornet
	2 Medium-Power Ion Cannons
	Armor 1500
	Shields 1800
	Top Speed 120 MPH
Stingray
	2 Light Ion Pulsers
	Armor 1500
	Shields 1800
	Top Speed 210 MPH
Stiletto
	4 Light Ion Pulsers
	Armor 1500
	Shields 1800
	Top Speed 316 MPH
Javelin
	1 Medium-Power Cannon
	Armour 1500
	Shields 1600
	Top Speed 125 MPH

===============================================================================
CREDITS
===============================================================================

TigerRaptorFX for the TD 2192 Intro: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUMwPSHshpQ
Let's Play for screenshots: 
http://lparchive.org/Traffic-Department-2192/
Wikipedia for vehicle info: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_Department_2192

Any typos, corrections, questions, requests can be sent to juneauej@gmail.com

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